I need to share with you readers that there are so many things I love about thrifting. First there is the thrill of the hunt, then the victorious feeling of a great discovery, and finally the research I can do to learn about a piece's history. Isn't it the gift that keeps on giving?
I was roaming around one of my regular local thrift stores one day with no success. This is a clutterred old thrift store with two resident cats that you can smell once you walk in the door. I was about to give up and head home when I noticed a beautifully made oak box. The corners had fine finger joints, and a carved indent for its slide top.
I have always admired great woodworking and was surprised to see ten finger joint pairs along a corner of a box that is less than 3" tall. I imagine that these joints were all chiselled by hand! I didn't know what to expect inside, and slid it open eagerly.
Inside was a partition separating black and white chess pieces. The chessmen were all wood, finely made, and had felted green pads on their underside. I tempered my excitement because often these sorts of finds are accompanied by the disappointment of missing or broken pieces.
Luckily, all the pieces were intact and both teams had all of their chessmen present! In doing research to find out more about the box and the era of these pieces, I found that these are Staunton style chess pieces. I understand that Staunton chess pieces have been the standard shape, weight and overall design required for all chess tournament play since 1924. This is because the pieces are universally recognized and I suppose, comfortable to play with.
There are wide ranges in eras and makers for vintage and antique chess pieces, so it was difficult for me to narrow down any further information. Originally, when I bought this set, I was thinking that Mr. SixBalloons could refinish the wood box. Since this set may actually have some value, this might not be a good idea. It's all part of the fun of thrifting, so I will keep doing research to find out more. In the meantime, I probably don't have to feel too guilty about the money I spent on it!
Linking to Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday!