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I need help Identifying this. My grandfather was in ww2 and at one point in the navy he went to Russia and met a Russian Naval Officer to whom he traded for this set, and the officer said he got it from his grandfather, but I'd like some true speculation on it please.

  • Can you precise the size of these chessmen ?
    – Evargalo
    Jan 15, 2018 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


Here's the same set on ebay. More pictures of yours would be helpful.


Perhaps the seller can help you learn more.

If you Google for "ceramic duncan medieval chess", you'll get a lot of hits.


Other than colors, that looks identical to a set my mother made for me back in the 1970's or early 80's at a local ceramic studio. She made it from molded greenware (unfired clay) and hand painted it. She made a few of these for other chess playing family members & friends, using different color combinations.

While the story you state is nice, I'm sorry to say it seems likely to me that the set in your picture was made in a similar fashion to mine, instead of being acquired in a trade from an officer in the Russian Navy.

Update: A similar set is now on display at the World Chess Hall of Fame. The first molds for sets like this were probably created in 1960's or 1970's by a company then known as Duncan Ceramics Products. As long as the link is good, you can see the set on display and read more at:

Image of chess set

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