Category: Other Travel Items
Subcategory: Games & Sports
A leather Backgammon, Chess & Draughts, or Checkers, Book Box with chess pieces and a box of counters.
When closed, the box resembles a pair of leather bound books entitled History of England Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. This form of games box was very popular at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. A number of companies sold them including the Army & Navy Store, who offered them in 3 sizes and 3 qualities. This box is the middle size and likely to be the middle quality. History of England was the standard title for these sets but you could pay to have your own title given to the books.
Although you would often receive dice tumblers with your board, you purchased the chess pieces and draught counters separately. This set does not have tumblers but does come with an associated boxwood and ebony set of Staunton pattern chess pieces and a light mahogany cased set of counters in the same woods. The dice and doubling dice are modern.
The set is made of leather on a softwood but the tooling decoration is quite involved with floral motifs to the spine and gold lines edging the playing squares etc. Circa 1900.
The playing size is the below dimensions with the depth doubled to make it 17 inches.
The illustration is from the A&N CSL catalogue of 1883.