The Barleycorn Luxury Bone Chess Pieces - 4.75" King

Product Code: MENBBLY48-B 

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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


How to Order

Step #1 - Contact Us and Place Your Order. Due to the rare nature of these products, orders cannot be placed through our website at this time, by request of Amazon Pay.

History of the Chess Pieces

Anglo-Dutch Chessmen, circa 1800

Between the late 1700s and the mid-1800s, many sets from Germany and the Netherlands found their way into the English market. These included the more delicate Selenus designs, among others, that showed elaborate craftsmanship, but lacked board presence and stability.

The Anglo-Dutch chessmen were a response by the more talented British carvers to the growing English market demand for elaborately carved chessmen normally offered by Dutch and German importers, but having the requisite stability to be used for practical play. That led to a class of chessmen often referred to as Anglo-Dutch. The Anglo-Dutch chessmen have the more elaborate and delicate carving features normally associated with chess pieces produced in Germany and The Netherlands, but are enhanced for practical play be the addition of stout, heavily armed English-style Rooks, Expressive Knight heads and the traditional Bishop’s miter. These sets lack the more traditional English Formeé and Maltese cross. Sets like these would have been obtained from the workshops of George Merrifield as well as Thomas Lund between 1800 and 1820.

This magnificent reproduction is offered in natural and red-dyed Camel bone. An Antiqued Boxwood and Genuine Ebony version will be available around August 1, 2017. The King stands an impressive 4-1/2” tall with a base diameter of 1-1/2”.

Return Policy

This item is made on a bespoke (custom order) basis only and is manufactured to your exact specifications. As a result, we will not be able to honor any order cancellation, return or exchange requests for this item.

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Included with Purchase

  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Engraved Registered Plaque
  • Individual Production Number

Product Details

Additional Information

Chess Board
The Chess Board featured is for photographic purposes only and must be purchased separately
Manufacturer The House of Staunton
Fitted Coffer
Will Not Fit in Any Coffer
King Height 4.75" inch / 12.07 cm
King Base Diameter 1.5" inch / 3.81 cm
Recommended Chess
Board Size
2.5" inch / 6.4 cm
Basepad Material Billiard cloth
Median Set Weight Natural Bone - No Additional Weighting
Total Number
of Pieces
32 Chess Pieces