John Calvert

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
the carving of the knights is of high quality.  It is exceptional to find such a well authenticated set.

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.
The following signature appears on a few sets that came to auction in the 1970s. The signature,
which is 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 to Calvert!

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
indubitally Calvert.

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.