Vintage Handcarved Ivory Staunton boxed Chess Set
by Rick Schiaffo
How much does ivory go for? Approximately $200-$375 per inch.
DESCRIPTION: Carved Ivory 1950s Staunton Style Chess: This is an Vintage CHESS SET in good used condition. This set was purchased sometime around 1960.
The Staunton chess set is the standard style for tournament or casual play. Individually hand carved ivory with fitted storage box / carrying case with chess board on the reverse side.
Each square on the board is individually inlaid. The dark side is tea-coloured - generally it is red - and it is ivory. With strict federal regulation against import of ivory, the value of ivory carvings tremendously increased.
In very good used condition overall. Some signs of wear on the wood board. Most pieces are intact and stable. Only one of the knights ears is missing, and very tiny chips off of both the Kings crowns.
Pieces are both turned and or carved in natural elephant ivory and tea brown dyed ivory. Cross hatch patterns are very evident and they display beautifully.
PLAYING PIECES: Kings are 4 1/2 inches high. Set includes natural white and tea stained figures. The dark chess pieces are tea-coloured. The pieces unscrew at the bases. Plain style pieces. No apparent signature.
ELEPHANT IVORY - The Law: Elephant ivory has been regulated since 1976 and was allowed into the U.S. only from game reserves that followed the guidelines set forth by The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or CITES.
Importing, buying, and selling African elephant ivory has not been allowed internationally since 1989. It is legal to own, buy, sell or ship "estate" ivory which was present legally in the United States before 1989.
How to tell if something is ivory: When looking at a piece, check the bottom or sides for the diamond or cross-hatch pattern typical of real ivory. Then check again for a slight wood-grain pattern, this is also typical of real ivory.
Next, check the feel. Real ivory should have a cool-to-the-touch feeling. Resins or plastics may duplicate one or some of these features, but none duplicates them all.
Also, color often varies very slightly throughout natural ivory from a creamy white to a creamy yellow-tan or a creamy, light yellow-brown.
The price of this set is $700.
•Location: Blairstown, NJ