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American chess sets appreciation, share your sets.. July 4 Elvis edition

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alleenkatze
samurai_fred wrote:

American Chess Bulletin 1907

See also this related thread for more details on these unique chessmen sold through the American Chess Company and others.

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/cambridge-springs-1904-chess-set

Steve Etzel's fine web page dedicated to the tournament can found here.  CS1904.com

samurai_fred
alleenkatze wrote:

See also this related thread for more details on these unique chessmen sold through the American Chess Company and others.

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/cambridge-springs-1904-chess-set

Steve Etzel's fine web page dedicated to the tournament can found here.  CS1904.com

 

From Etzel's site: "the organizers tried to recoup some of their expenses by selling boards and sets, at $15. That stunned Mikhail Tchigorin who complained the cheap pieces weren't worth more than $2.50 -- and the poorly made paper boards only 10 to 15 cents. They sold out anyway." 

 

About those "cheap" 10 cent paper boards at the tournament; here are illustrations of what 10 cent paper chess or checker boards were sold around late 19th and early 20th century America; the first image was taken from a 1886 McLoughlin Brothers price list; the second one is from a 1903 Mcloughlin Bros price list. 

The organisers would have used what was readily available so I suspect it was similar to these described, with typical red squares.

 

1886 

 

1903

 

 

 

alleenkatze

If you look at the photos, the paper boards used in the tournament didn't have these fancy borders and really were quite plain.

samurai_fred

Ah, you are right about the plain border. Sad that these paper boards did not survive up to the present. Have any resurfaced? Some must have been discarded or just torn up.

alleenkatze
samurai_fred wrote:

Ah, you are right about the plain border. Sad that these paper boards did not survive up to the present. Have any resurfaced? Some must have been discarded or just torn up.

Nothing is known about the sets for sure, but it is believed that both Steve and Mick Deasey have either the original chessmen or sets identical to those used at Cambridge Springs.  We've based this on photographs taken during the tournament and comparison to the unique Knights and period Waterbury clock that is in his possession.  No one has come forward to present anything more that provides provenance to dispute this.  Certificates with the signatures seem to have vanished.  Another smaller set has surfaced with the same Jaques (cheaper line) Knight uppers that implies possible sales of some of these style sets after CS1904, but how many?  Early ads promoted the clocks used, but not these sets.  Very curious indeed.