Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ivory pieces from an Indian set

Superior pieces from an ivory part set. Most probably of Indian manufacture from around 1820. The Queens are 9 cm tall. Unfortunately neither of the Kings have survived.

All pieces are monobloc, including Rooks with round bases and rectangular bodies. Turning holes can be seen in the both ends of pieces.

A similar set can be seen on the page of House of Staunton:
full set and a close view of some pieces.

Another such set was auctioned as a part of the Ettore Chiesa Collection at Christie's. See lot #90 in the catalogue.

Both these are of smaller size than my pieces.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A year of collecting

I have been collecting a little more than a year for now. A few things to say:

First, I have come to conclusion that I do not want to amass a great quantity of sets. I will try to keep the number below 30. Right now it is 15 or so. I will eventually sell sets which do not give me the jolt of joy any more. These sets will disappear from this blog as well. Every collector has to make decisions like that and my decision is to have only these pieces which I really, really like (if affordable, of course). This site will therefore remain relatively small but I hope that you will still like it :)

Second, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Alan Dewey the chess set restorer, Jon Crumiller, Floyd Sarisohn and other people from eBay Chess Collectors group (organized in the most smooth and friendly way by Robert van der Veur) for many words of valuable advice.

Third, most of my sets have come from eBay. I have had experience with only one complete fraudster during that year. The average John B. Ebayer is generally honest although he can be a weasel from time to time. Care must be taken to avoid outright con men, though. One of my previous postings was about that topic.

The popularity of chess collecting seems to be on rise and spreading over the world. EBay is a great resource but nothing can beat great chess auctions where the collectors from all over the world gather. The latest of this kind was the auction of the collection of late Dr. Cholet at Christie's held in this spring. Bloomsbury's auction house carries out chess auctions periodically, being the only major auction house to do so. The catalogues of these events are very much worth studying. website features information about many past auctions and can be used for price comparision. Auction houses usually provide free price range estimates which might be useful, too.

Fourth, as we are living in the first decades of the Information age, I really hope that more and more collectors consider putting up a webpage. Blog software is an easy solution but might not be suitable for larger collections. I work as an IT professional and I would be delighted to provide advice in the World Wide Web matters. For instance, the Chess Collector's Knowledge Base might be used to house individual collections, too. Please leave a wish to contact to the comments section and I will contact you.

Thanks for your kind attention :)