This elaborate English Playing Chess Set design, referred to in the literature as a Barleycorn Pattern, dominated the market place during the Pre-Staunton (1920-1845) era. Barleycorn signatures resemble 19th century English signatures, orbs, towers, horse heads, split mitres, and kings having some sort of orb atop their crowns at least as often as a cross. Barleycorn rook towers are often surmounted by flags or corrugated orbs. The carving is far more elaborate than other period English sets with ornamental turning on piece bodies.
At the time, the supply of such popular French sets from Dieppe and others had dwindled as a result of the decline in trade between the two countries. British Chess players were forced to look locally for sources of chess pieces, and resourceful English turners capitalized on this demand by introducing the Barleycorn Pattern. The Barleycorn Pattern was widely successful, until it was ultimately supplanted by the introduction of the Staunton Pattern in 1849. Many famous American Chess players owned Barleycorn chess pieces, including Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams.
This reproduction is an exact copy of an original BarleyChess chess set. The bone that was used to craft these Chessmen was hand selected by our lead craftsman to insure that only the purist, Whitest bone was used
THESE ARE ACTUAL HAND CARVED BONE CHESSMEN