Thai chess piece

Southeast Asian Collection

Accession Nr.: 62.365.5
Type: bone objects; toys and models; ivory carving
Date of production:
19th century
Place of production:
Materials/Techniques: ivory, carved
Dimensions: height: 3.8 cm
diameter: 2.4 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 pieces. 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.