Chess set

This is a “John Company” chess set made of ivory. The British East India Company’s battles with local Indian rulers provided the most popular theme for chess sets produced in India, which showed the Indians fighting the British. These were also known as “John Company” sets as “John” was a colloquial name for the British East India Company. The colonial rule of South and Southeast Asia by the Europeans spurred the production of elaborately and intricately carved chess sets for export. These sets were commonly made for display or commemoration rather than actual use.