Auction of chess sets of the Valentine Collection

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  • Auction of chess sets of the Valentine Collection

    Auction of chess sets of the Valentine Collection

    March 28, 2017

    One rarely sees a ChessTalk thread on collectible chess sets. Perhaps only wealthy collectors can indulge themselves in such a hobby.

    This article from the Australian Financial Review:

    Buyers line up for late economist's 500 chess sets

    by Peter Fish

    Sydney probably never saw a collection like it – the massive array of chess sets accumulated by the renowned economist the late Thomas James Valentine which went under the hammer at auctioneer Theodore Bruce on Sunday.

    Tom Valentine died in July last year aged 73. As Saleroom wrote at the time, Valentine left "a legacy that not only significantly contributed to how economics was taught within Australian universities but also to the evolution of the Australian financial markets".

    With up to 500 sets on offer, director James Badgery says it was thought prudent to split the sale into two, with more than 100 sets being offered in the auction room and a large number of lesser sets being offered only on the internet.

    Such a vast array might have overwhelmed the chess community, but nearly all the lots found buyers.
    Badgery says he was ecstatic over the outcome of the sale – "It is always hard to know", adding that online bidding was particularly strong.

    Among the top prices was what was described as a traditional chess set in a House of Staunton box with lift-out trays, the king 10cm high, which brought a hammer price of $2200, or $2640 including 20 per cent buyer's premium, while a carved bone set, the king 9.5cm tall, housed in a vintage timber slide-top box, brought a total $2040. A Jaques of London boxwood and ebony set, the king 13cm high, in a fitted case with pull-out tray, brought $1320.

    Among the novelty items a 1930 Chinese propaganda set, communists versus capitalists, brought $840 and an official Star Trek tridimensional set $540.

    There is a society of chess set collectors called Chess Collectors International. It has international meetings and issues a 20-page magazine three times a year.


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    Last edited by Wayne Komer; Tuesday, 28th March, 2017, 09:42 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Auction of chess sets of the Valentine Collection

    But anybody can view them free of charge especially if you go to St Louis and visit the World Chess Hall of Fame. Last visit I saw the amber set of Catherine the Great and many sets of the Emperors of France. I decided to attend a lecture by the gentleman who owned those sets and who founded Chess Collectors International and Im glad I did. It was captivating but short and afterwards I went up and chatted with him for a few minutes. He was down to earth and to the point. I would highly recommend checking out any of the displays of Chess Collectors International.