The William Daniell Chess Set, circa 1790

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The William Daniell Chess Set: An Indian ivory travelling chess set with a rosewood and ivory board, Vizagapatam, circa 1790, one side stained green, the other side left natural, all the pieces with pegged bases, kings and queens with pierced tops and foliate shaped finials, bishops with open split mitres, knights as horses' heads, rooks as castellated turrets raised on bulbous knops on circular bases, with a rosewood and ivory "pegged" board with a rosewood raised edge, inscribed: Given by Mr Dickenson to W. Daniell...Aug 1793...on board The Exeter. E. I., the king 10.5cm high, the board 44cm wide.

The East Indiaman, "Exeter" (1,200 tons), was built in 1792. She made eight round trips to the East before 1811, and then disappears from record. Leaving Portsmouth in April, 1793, her maiden passage lasted well into the following year, and it was not until August, 1794 that she found herself back in home waters. Daniell's chess set was presumably given to him on this maiden voyage.

Thomas and William Daniell were among the great European artists working on the Indian sub-continent in the 18th and 19th centuries. They took a seven year tour of India from 1786 to 1793. Inspired by William Hodges, the Daniell's ventured further than any previous artist and drew un-rivalled views of the scenery and architecture of India. Arriving back in England in 1794, the Daniell's turned a substantial number of water-colours into prints, resulting in "Oriental Scenery", a hundred and forty four aquatint views. This was published in six parts, consisting of twenty four plates in each volume, covering a period from 1795 to 1807. These prints bring to life the scenery and architecture of India. Thomas and William also exhibited oil paintings (again based on the material collected in India) at the Royal Academy between 1795 and 1838, and at the British Institution between 1808 and 1832. Latterly, they also provided drawings for The "Oriental Annual"..