The Chess Set of Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod, circa 1818-1822

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The translation of the inscription on the miniature is: "Thakur Sahib Shyam Singhji Sundavat (family name) and Captain Tod Sahib playing chess at Tikana Amet. Artist Chagni Ram made it and gifted it to Tod when he went to Amet."

As commemorated in the miniature inscription, the chess set was presented to Tod when he visited Amet sometime between 1818 and 1822. The gift is a clear expression of the regard Tod enjoyed in Rajasthan. The Thakur of Amet at his visit had this chess set specially made where he himself was the green king, the Thakur of Amet, and his guest seen as representing the British with responsibility for the district of Amet. The gift, most unusually, was emphasised by a miniature depicting the two men actually playing chess together which was painted at the time by an Amet artist to be incorporated in the box.

Click here for Picasa album with photos of this set