Thai chess piece

Southeast Asian Collection

Accession Nr.: 62.365.2
Type: bone objects; toys and models; ivory carving
Date of production:
19th century
Place of production:
Materials/Techniques: ivory, carved
Dimensions: height: 1.6 cm
diameter: 2.6 cm
tömeg: 0.1 kg
Piece of an incomplete Thai chess set. Thai chess ('makruk') is a very popular game. Similarly to chess in Europe, it is also played with sixteen against sixteen. There are strong similarities regarding both the rules and the appearance of the pieces; minor differences include the names of the queen (Thai: 'met', meaning seed), the rook ('ruea', meaning ship) or the pawn (Thai: 'bia', meaning kauri snail). The latter derives from the fact that traditionally these tiny shells were used as pawns in the game.