Collectors embrace 'The Game of War' at Bonhams' Chess auction


2015-06-26 12:13:45


Collectors embrace 'The Game of War' at Bonhams' Chess auction

This is no ordinary board game, designed to train British army officers while war was on the horizon

An 18thcentury Russian mammoth ivory chess set was the top lot of the Chess, Playing Cards and Games auction that took place on January 17 at Bonhams, Knightsbridge.

The intricately carved set was highly sought after and eventually sold for 19,000, against a pre-sale estimate of 2,000-3,000. The village of Kholmogory in Russia is famous for the local craft of carving in bone, which has existed there for over four hundred years.

From Europe a very rare, 300 year old south German, ivory and ebony figural chess set sold for 16,500. Made around 1700, the King and Queen were dressed in 17th-18thcentury interpretations of mediaeval dress and the pawns were dressed in baggy breeches and flared bottomed coats.

Meanwhile, a Chinese, jade mah jong set made around 1920 that belonged to HM Queen Elisabeth of Greece sold for 9,000 against a pre-sale estimate of 1,200-1,600.

The silk-lined wooden case that held forty jade tiles with bone counters and four jade and gilt dice was sold with a letter from HSH Prince Marc of Hohenzollern-Roumanie explaining the provenance of the set, dated 1979.

The Game of War manufactured for H M Government

Also among the highlights was

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