From the pictures you can see it had a long history. With the perfect style, nice design, wonderful workmanship, It is in good condition, no crack and no chip. But the crudely painted example above is miserable crap. They might not be outright crap but are clearly inferior to antique ivory sets.
Look at the pictures you can see the shape is very well; It is really a rare item and worth collecting!!! There are two reasons to avoid modern ivory:1) Ivory poachers with AK47 rifles have brought the elephants to the edge of extinction. allow import of antique ivory dating prior to June 1947) and the carving of the pieces is nothing to be proud of.
If you happened to buy it, you would still smell the fresh paint when it reaches you. They might be cast from resin or some composite material (grounded stone mixed with resin or whatever). The figures are animals and all are presented in period dress. The king lion has superb detail to face and costume. Another bear piece has a monkey clinging to his back. Largest piece measures some 7.6" height and smallest piece is some 4.5" height. It is cast from resin and the box is made of whatever wood painted red. The pieces have been painted more than once it appears although we don't believe they have been recently painted at all. Some pieces missing an ear etc but overall damage given age is minimal and quite age commensurate and there is no damage which detracts from this amazing set.Plenty of these sets were made and there is still a steady flow of them. But they are still considerably cheaper than comparable Jaques sets.Buy them if you want but not for the same price as Jaques.Please note that I do not think that these sets are crap and I have no issues with Beekay's business practices.
But many modern overdecorated Indian sets are offered as genuine antique by other sellers. If you see 3 identical antique items listed in the same time by different dealers, the chances are great that they are crap. The Chinese items in question are simultaneously listed by 10 or more sellers most of the time. Handcarved wood, brass hardware, marble and onyx tiles, dark and light green quartz jade playing pieces. However, it is a modern set made of resin and very crudely painted black and white. The same is true about all these Chinese sets with "leather boxes". This is a very interesting and a highly collectable chess set which is very decorative. The pattern is known as "Reynard the Fox" and if it was really made in the 18th century, it would have been carved from bone or ivory or wood and cost many thousands of dollars.They might be quite good but are made in large quantities and therefore are not collectable in my opinion.You can see a good selection of modern Indian sets at Beekay's store . This is such an interesting set and we believe something quite special.