Chessboard set - need help to ID materials

jetsfanJanuary 6, 2011

Hi all

I just inherited an antique chessboard/set and since I have no knowledge of items like this, I'm looking for some help with it. Specifically, I'd like to know what its made of. A friend of mine told me that most boards are of the marble/onyx variety, and it seems this may be what I have here. Underneath the board there are slabs of stone pieced together. Just wondering if that could be a different type of stone.

If anyone has any ideas of what these materials might be I would greatly appreciate any info. Thanks and happy new year!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not so sure how "antique" the board is....but it sure looks like onyx. The stone under looks like perhaps unpolished marble or lime stone...
But the figures are what's interesting. What do they appear to be made from? I suspect they originally went with a different board.
How about closer pictures and a view of the bottom?
Linda c

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi and thanks for the info. I'm including some more pictures of the pieces themselves. I do seem to remember years ago my mother saying that the pieces were ceramic and hand-painted. Again I'm no expert but in looking at them, they seem to be molded from some kind plaster material. And if they are hand-painted, I would think there would be some kind of artist signature somewhere, but I don't see anything like that. I wouldn't mind getting some info about the pieces too and any info is much appreciated, thanks.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting set - white onyx and black marble or black-dyed onyx would be my guess for the board.

The figures are probably molded ceramic - bought as bisque and hand painted by a hobbyist. Nicely done.

There may have been a board of yellow and green to go with these - the black and white looks strange with the set.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 8:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The pieces appear to be slip molded ceramics. Those would be difficult to play an actual game since there isn't enough difference between the light and dark pieces. Also, the light pieces are not the same color indicating it may be a 'mixed' set. The base of the pieces are sized correctly for the size of the squares. However, chess players would like to see a little more space between the pieces. These pieces would 'play' better on a larger board.

The squares may be of onyx and marble, but could be reconstituted stone. Reconstituted stone is made from small pieces of stone and grindings mixed in a resin and cast. I am puzzled by the backside stones; What holds the board together? I'm thinking there is a composition board such as masonite in the middle with the squares on one side and the backside stones on the other side.

These pieces are known as "decorative", but the pattern does not appear in the current USCF catalog. The style theme may be Crusades.

Most upscale boards are made of hardwoods. It is possible that your board is a one-of-a-kind made by a hobbyist, possibly a lapidarist, and not a mass produced item. It could also be a school shop project.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 4:31PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help Glassware/Stemware Experts
Please any glassware experts out there know...
Are garage sales a thing of the past?
Years ago when my mom and I had garage sales, our yard...
Help identifying a vase?
Does anyone know anything about this vase.It has no...
Melissa Mcintosh
Help with age and materials of chair
I just purchased this chair, used, with the idea of...
Straw in dining chair cushions-- does this indicate a date?
Hi friends, I just bought a lovely antique dining table...
Sponsored Products
Chessboard Milano Turkish Area Rug (6' x 8')
Japanese Samurai Hand-Painted Chess Set - CB219
$149.99 | Hayneedle
Italian Worm Wood/Brass Pedestal Chess Board - 651
$118.96 | Hayneedle
Medieval Knights Hand-Painted Chess Set - CB220
$149.99 | Hayneedle
Battle of Waterloo Hand-Painted Chess Set - CB221
$149.99 | Hayneedle
Howard Miller Ithaca Pub Table - 699010
Fantasy Hand-Painted Chess Set - CB223
$149.99 | Hayneedle
P362 Table Lamp by George Kovacs
$100.00 | Lumens
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™