John Calvert, 189 Fleet Street
1791-1826; Dorothy Calvert (widow) 1826-36
John Calvert was a particularly fine maker. He is associated with a
particular style with the king
having an urn-shaped top, as exemplified
by this ivory set. This
ivory set is particularly fine and
desirable for several reasons.
First, Calvert has stamped
his name and address on the tops of
three of the rooks. Second, the box
is also stamped, which is very rare. The turning is plain and
carving of the knights is of high quality. It is exceptional to
find such a well authenticated
Good quality milky ivory. The knights are typical of those carved in
Fleet Street. Note the black pupil.
The red pieces have their original stain, which is important. Avoid
restained pieces as they have
lost their antique patina and restaining
is often done to over up replacement pieces.
Calvert 189 Fleet STT
on top of rook.
Set is in its original signed box. Some nice inlay on the top, showing
that it is special.
Calvert & Fleet STT
address on box.
Fake Calvert Signature?
It seems that only a fraction of the Calvert sets were stamped. The
presence of a stamp can
greatly increase the value of a set. So, there
is a great temptation for fakers to add spurious stamps.
signature appears on a few sets that came to auction in
the 1970s. The signature,
clearly stamped a single letter at a time, does not look very
professional, has a different
abbreviation for Street (STRT
) and, in one example, is under
the king of a typical Lund set of a style
that used to be misascribed
Calvert Boxwood Sets
Calvert's boxwood and ebony sets are not varnished and have usually,
unless cleaned, developed a
deep patination over the years. The knights
in cheaper sets are well carved and have simple manes
that are just
incised. The upmarket sets have very well carved knights, as in this
case unsigned, but
This set has a huge 5" (127 mm) king. The size and its quality make
this set very desirable.
The knights and their manes are works of art.