chess set, British, 'Ajax Chessmen

Catalogue number
  • EPH 2597
Department
Exhibits
Production date
1941
Materials
  • whole: card
  • whole: paper
Dimensions
  • whole: Diameter 30 mm, Diameter 50 mm, Length 180 mm, Length 325 mm, Width 320 mm
Alternative names
  • full name: chess set, British, 'Ajax Chessmen
  • simple name: GAME : British
Creator
Category
souvenirs and ephemera

© IWM (EPH 2597)

Purchase & License
Label

Second World War period British chess set, 'Ajax Chessman', manufactured specifically for use by service personnel by Adams Brothers and Shardlow Ltd (London) in circa 1941. The game is unused in original tube with rolled, gummed 'board', and chess pieces. These chess sets were also used to send escape equipment to prisoners of war, if the game had 'Patent applied for' and a large full stop this indicated the game had concealed escape aids.

Physical description

Ajax chess set made by Adams Brothers & Shardlow Ltd. consisting of: A cardboard tube with separate lid. A paper label is pasted onto the tube that reads “Ajax Chessmen A wartime substitute for men in the services”. 2 rolled chess board sections, presumably designed to be pasted onto a board. 16 black chessmen, each consisting of a thick cardboard disc printed on one side with an image of a traditional chess piece. 12 white chessmen, each consisting of a thick cardboard disc printed on one side with an image of a traditional chess piece.

History note

Unused in original tube with rolled, gummed 'board', and chess pieces. British chess set, 'Ajax Chessman', manufactured specifically for use by service personnel. These chess sets were also used to send escape equipment to prisoners of war. If the game had 'Patent applied for' and a large full stop this indicated the game concealed escape aids.

Printed

Ajax Chessmen Patent No. 16847/41 A wartime substitute for men in the services

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