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White bishop, chess piece, India, 1820 circa (ivory)

White bishop, chess piece, India, 1820 circa (ivory)


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White bishop, chess piece, India, 1820 circa (ivory)

5924018 White bishop, chess piece, India, 1820 circa (ivory) by Indian School, (19th century); National Army Museum, London; (add.info.: White bishop, chess piece, India, 1820 circa.
Carved ivory, made by an Indian artist, probably in Berhampur, from a chess set representing the Bengal Army and an Indian rulers forces, 1820 circa.
This chess piece takes the form of an Asian rhinoceros shaped with one horn.
Known as A John CompanyA sets, finely-crafted chess sets of East India Company soldiers and Indian troops were popular with the British. Most pieces are carved from single sections of ivory.
This set was probably made in Berhampur, which was established as a centre of ivory carving during the 1700s. It was ideally situated for the European market because travellers and traders passed through on their way to and from Calcutta (Kolkata) and central and southern India. It was also a garrison town, so would have had a regularly-changing population of British officers. Exquisite chess sets like this continued to be made into the twentieth century.); eNational Army Museum; Indian, out of copyright

Media ID 23573294

© National Army Museum / Bridgeman Images

Chess Rhinoceros


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> Animals > Mammals > Indian Rhinoceros

> Animals > Mammals > Rhinocerotidae > Indian Rhinoceros

> Animals > Mammals > Rhinocerotidae > White Rhinoceros

> Animals > Mammals > White Rhinoceros

> Arts > Artists > I > Indian School Indian School

> Arts > Artists > Related Images

> Arts > Artists > W > John White

> Arts > Pop art

> Asia > India > Kolkata

> Asia > India > Related Images

> Fine Art Finder > Artists > Edwin Arthur Ward

> Fine Art Finder > Artists > Indian School


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases a stunning white bishop chess piece from India, dating back to around 1820. Crafted from ivory by an Indian artist, most likely in Berhampur, this exquisite piece is part of a larger chess set representing the Bengal Army and Indian rulers' forces. What makes this particular chess piece truly unique is its intricate design resembling an Asian rhinoceros with a single horn. These finely-crafted chess sets, known as "A John Company" sets, gained popularity among the British during that time period. Carved meticulously from single sections of ivory, they were highly sought after by collectors. Berhampur served as an ideal hub for ivory carving during the 18th century due to its strategic location along trade routes between Calcutta (now Kolkata) and central and southern India. As a garrison town with a fluctuating population of British officers passing through, it provided ample opportunities for these remarkable creations to be appreciated and acquired. Notably, this tradition of creating exquisite chess sets persisted well into the twentieth century. The National Army Museum in London proudly displays this remarkable artifact as part of their collection. Through this print captured by Bridgeman Images, viewers can marvel at the artistry and craftsmanship behind this historic Indian treasure that continues to captivate enthusiasts worldwide.

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