Export sets ... Counters

Another form of export sets show the reliefs of figures and chess symbols that are beautifully carved and pierced counters. They seem to replace the inscriptions of authentic Chinese pieces and could be a reminiscence of them. This comparison stresses the important difference between the work of the ‘writing artist’ for Chinese chess and the ‘carving artist’ for sets designed for export activity. “To read” and “to understand forms and colours” represent two forms of cultural knowledge.

 

Round counters    

Round counters with carved chessmen on one side and garden scenes on the other. The rim with carved decorations. Made of ivory. One side stained red. Diameter 4cm; height 0.8cm. Source: CCI (2012) Chinese Chess Sets

Round counters, perforated rim    

Round counters as chessmen with perforated rim. Ivory. Stained red. Diameter 3.3cm; height 1-0cm. Source: CCI (2012) Chinese Chess Sets

Perforated counters    

Perforated counter style chessmen with carved European symbols. Ivory. Diameter 3.3cm; height 0.6cm. Source: CCI (2012) Chinese Chess Sets