Dieppe Bone and Coquilla Nut Chess Set , circa 1810

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A bone and coquilla nut "bust" chess set, Dieppe, early 19th century, the European side in bone, the Moorish side carved from coquilla nut, kings and queens as monarchs and consorts, bishops as "fou" or clerics with clay pipes, European knights as Napoleonic cavalry wearing Grecian style helmets, rooks as raised turrets, pawns as infantryman or Moorish tribesmen.

Provenance: The Martine Jeannin Gallery, 13, rue Jacob, Paris

Literature: A. E. G. Mackett-Beeson "Chessmen", Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1967, figure 51.

Note the typically French use of "fou" for bishops - often depicted as clergy smoking pipes. Coquillas nut is, here, used as an unusual alternative to ivory.

Click here for m Picasa album with photos of this set