Last updated on April 14, 2021
This post is with thanks to our friends at Luke Honey Ltd. Operating from premises in central London, Luke offers an extensive range of decorative antiques and exquisite works of art. In addition, Luke is a leading specialist in antique backgammon sets.
Every now and then, at Deluxe Backgammon we like to look at something different. We particularly admire antique pieces. They remind us that the game of backgammon has been enjoyed for thousands of years. This post is about an antique Anglo-Indian backgammon set we saw on the Luke Honey Ltd website. This particular piece had been sold at the time of writing.
This piece is a 19th-century games board that includes an outer chess board and an inner backgammon board. The set would have been manufactured in India during the British colonial period. It is in remarkable condition for its age with only subtle signs of use and still in a perfectly useable condition. The backgammon cabinet and playing field is constructed from rosewood. The points are inlaid using boxwood and antique elephant ivory. In addition, the playing field is adorned with an intricate diamond patterned inlay. The set uses brass furnishings and is held secure by a simple set of metal latches. This antique backgammon set is 61cm x 51.5cm when open.
As this antique backgammon set contains elephant ivory. As a result, it would require a CITES export licence to export to destinations outside the European Union.
The accessories include four bone dice. If you were using the set for serious play, they could be replaced with a set of precision dice. The set doesn’t include a doubling cube as this was not invented until the 20th century. However, a doubling cube could easily be added to the set if it was used for regular play. If you were using it as a purely decorative piece you would use the existing accessories. Also included is a set of 30 turned checkers in rosewood and boxwood. In addition, there are two leather dice cups. The leather has a glorious patina that has arisen through many years of use.
As noted, this antique backgammon set is in remarkably good condition for its age. There is some minor cracking and warping of the playing field, which is far from unusual for an antique. It could be used as either a decorative piece or for active play. In conclusion, at Deluxe Backgammon we would have no hesitation in recommending the purchase of a luxury backgammon set of this age and quality. We will take another look at the antique backgammon sets from Luke Honey Ltd in the near future.