Board with 32 wooden pieces, 16 unfinished and 16 painted black, housed in original wooden box. Two pawns are later replacements. Pasted on inside of box lid is John Bartram's name. The board, while contemporary, is not original to the pieces.
John Bartram was America's best-known naturalist of the late 18th century and its first native-born botanist. Along with his friend Benjamin Franklin, Bartram worked to establish and grow the APS. Like Franklin, Bartram was an avid chess player, and this chess set reportedly belonged to him. However, apart from his name on the inside of the lid, there is no clear provenance for the set.
|Material||Board: wood (inlaid); Pieces: wood (natural and black-painted); Box: wood|
Board: 18.625 x 15
Pieces: 3.5 (tallest)
Box: 4.25 x 11 x 6
|Credit line||American Philosophical Society. Gift of John Harbeson, 17 January 1968.|