Killarney Chess Board

 
     
     
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AN IRISH ARBUTUS WOOD VENEERED AND BOXWOOD INLAID CHESS AND BACKGAMMON BOARD, Killarney, circa 1850,

the interior of the board for backgammon and in walnut, the exterior for chess with shamrock designs and herring-bone banding, 51cm wide.

*** "Killarneyware" is the distinctive style of furniture and works of art produced in Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe during the mid-19th century. The use of Arbutus wood (i.e. the wood of the Strawberry Tree) is typical of Killarney. This whitish close-grained wood which yellows with age had been highly valued for centuries in Ireland; the Seanchas Mor, Ireland's old law texts, mentions the timber in a section on tree-damage (cf. John Teahan, "Irish Furniture and Woodcraft", 1994, pp.39-42).

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