Antique Victorian Coromandel Games Compendium Chess Drafts Etc 19th C

Antique Victorian Coromandel Games Compendium Chess Drafts Etc 19th C

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London, United Kingdom
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Less than one week
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About this item

This is a wonderful antique Victorian coromandel and brass bound games compendium, the cut brass applied with six beautiful malachite bosses, Circa 1860 in date.

Bearing the engraved brass label of the world renowned retailer "Howell James and Company, Regent Street London", and the brass engraved label of the renowned maker "Betjemann and Sons Makers London" .

The interior reveals a games board for chess, draughts and backgammon to the hinged lid. The interior with fitted compartments in Royal purple leather, the interior with a lift-out tray fitted with metal bezique markers, circular markers with hand dials, wooden draughtsmen, a backgammon set and dominoes. The lower interior holding a pair of wooden shakers, a full wooden chess set, and further areas with packs of cards, dice and other games.

It is not only a collectable set but a compendium which is guaranteed to provide a lot of fun.


In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 16 x Width 32 x Depth 24

Dimensions in inches:

Height 6 inches x Width 1 foot, 1 inch x Depth 9 inches

Howell James & Company - were a firm of jewellers and silversmiths, based in Regent Street in London, which operated between 1819 and 1911.

The firm Howell and James was founded in 1819 by James Howell and Isaac James who were originally silk mercers and retail jewellers. The company had premises at 5, 7 and 9 Regent Street and was noted for the variety and quality of its stock. In 1838 James left the business and the partnership then became known as Howell James & Co. By 1865 the firm employed over 140 women, most of whom lived above the shop.

The firm exhibited in London, at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and at the 1862 International Exhibition, and in Paris and the International Exposition of 1867. It sold items by students and designers of the South Kensington School.
At the London exhibitions of 1871 and 1872 the company exhibited jewellery by C.L. Eastlake, M. D. Wyatt, F. Leighton and L. F. Day. The company's 1878 Paris Exhibition stand was designed by Day. In 1889, company employee J. Llewellyn moved to Liberty & Co taking with him exclusive selling rights.
In 1881 the premises were reconstructed and these incorporated art pottery galleries. An exhibition was staged, of architectural faience, produced to the designs of M. B. Adams by of Burmantofts.

In 1884 the company became a limited company and their name changed to Howell & James Ltd.

Coromandel wood or Calamander wood
is a valuable wood from India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. It is of a hazel-brown color, with black stripes (or the other way about), very heavy and hard. It is also known as Macassar Ebony or variegated ebony and is closely related to genuine ebony, but is obtained from different species in the same genus; one of these is Diospyros quaesita Thwaites, from Sri Lanka. The name Calamander comes from the local sinhalese name, 'kalu-medhiriya', which means dark chamber; referring to the characteristic ebony black wood.

Coromandel wood has been logged to extinction over the last 2 to 3 hundred years and is no longer available for new work in any quantity. Furniture in coromandel is so expensive and so well looked after that even recycling it is an unlikely source. A substitute, Macassar Ebony, has similar characteristics and to the untrained eye is nearly the same but it lacks the depth of colour seen in genuine Coromandel.


W32.0 x H16.0 x D24.0 cm



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