My Love Affair with Antique Chess Sets

My undying love affair with antique chess sets began when my grandpa introduced me to the game as a child, all the while recounting its rich ancient history. The chess set which belonged to my grandpa passed on to me after my dad and is a testimony of several matches played as a child and an adult.

What Was It About Antique Chess Sets That Fascinates Me?

antique chess sets

The shape and design of the chess board and the pieces fascinated me as a child. The relentless battles that could be fought on the checkered board using strategic moves of the kings, queens, bishops, knights, rooks and pawns gave me immense hours of fun and joy. All matter relating to the mental moves in the game as well as the history of the physical attributes of the chess pieces used to interest me and I used to gobble up any such related information that I came across on the internet. Slowly I began to develop a penchant for collecting vintage chess sets.

The biggest draw for me is the vast resource offered by the World Wide Web which has made it possible to know at a glance antique chess sets on ebay which have been listed for sale. You can really end up landing with some age-old beautiful chess sets which are different from one another, showing the variety that existed depending upon the country where it was played.

Interesting History

The game of chess has an ancient history and the chess pieces range from the highly exotic sets played in the earlier centuries to the common wooden type sets. The joy that I get when I lay my hands on one of such rare types is indescribable in words. Each of these antique sets has a story to tell, especially those created by noteworthy chess manufacturers and knowing the history makes the collection of them all the more interesting.

Mysterious Origin

No one knows for sure where the game of chess began but the game ‘Chaturanga’ which can be connected to the modern day chess originated in seventh century India. From there it was carried to Persia, Arab countries from where it spread out to the other countries of the world. By the start of the eleventh century, chess had gained a foothold in Europe.

A Way of Life

To me, chess is more than just a game; it is a way of life.  I never ever found it boring and ancient as thought of by some people; it has always been an exciting game to me. The excitement, challenge, mystery and romance associated with it have been glamorized in many a book, movie and several paintings. The varied shapes and types of the chess pieces available in the antique chess sets is a proof of this fact.

I find it an enlightening and enriching experience to get to know the history of some of the top quality antique chess sets of yesteryears, like the unique Rajasthan polychrome ivory chess pieces belonging to the 1800 AD, Antique English Ivory Chess Set of the early 1800s or the Art Noveau designs of Gaudi in the 1850 era and so on. This love affair with pre-loved chess sets will go on for many more years to come, I am certain.

Main Photo: Chess Antiques Online.


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About Bei

60s music advocate. Bacon aficionado. Unapologetic web geek. Collects everything from Star Wars and PlayMobil to matchboxes. Scared of cats and roller coasters, in that order. Connect with her at

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