Old English Bone and Barleycorn Sets
Turners made sets from cow bones from the end of the 18th C to the
beginning of the 20th C.
They were often more expensive thatn wood, but a huge number of cheaper
sets were made.
The word Barleycorn is often used a generic term for the following
sets, but this description
should apply, strictly speaking, only to those sets that are decorated
with ornamental turning,
representing wheatears and similar decoration. The sets below date from
the mid 19th C, and probably
30-40 years eith side.
110 mm king.
135 mm king.
The shapes of the pieces are constrained by the nature of bone. The
barrel like sections of the rooks
and kings and queens are centred around the marrow cavity in the bone,
the knights tend to be flat,
restrained by the thickness of sections of bone.
Typical dopey looking thin knights (by Jaques).
Jaques made a range of bone sets, including those of typical design,
without barleycorn decoration. The
next set is of beautiful quality bone that looks like milky ivory.
Jaques bone set number 22 design in their pattern book.
The knights are typically Jaques bone ones.