Antique and Vintage Backgammon Sets

The roots of backgammon date to 3000 BCE, when well-born Mesopotamians would play the Royal Game of Ur. The earliest version of the game was discovered in 2004 in what is now Iran. That archaeological find featured an ebony board (in those days, this type of wood was imported from India), pieces fashioned from local agate and turquoise, and a pair of dice made from human bones.

Ancient Egyptians also played a variation of the game, as did the Romans (Emperors Claudius and Nero used it to gamble) and 6th-century Indians. By the Middle Ages, variations of backgammon were common throughout Europe, and by the Renaissance the game was being depicted in paintings, perhaps most famously in Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” By 1743, backgammon was so widespread that Hoyle had published his first book of rules for it.

The oldest intact and usable sets tend to come from the Victorian Era. The boards are often made of wood and designed so that they could be folded up into a box—the pieces and dice were secured in compartments inside. Sets from Asia are often found in jade and bone. Other backgammon sets may feature ivory or Bakelite pieces and dice, which are paired with hardwood boxes and boards. Sets made after the 1920s also often include a doubling cube.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Talking Boards

Museum of Talking Boards

Prepare to enter the strange world of Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board game, which captured imaginations en masse… [read review or visit site]

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

This in-depth University of Waterloo virtual exhibit showcases vintage games in a variety of categories, from class… [read review or visit site]

Electronic Plastic

Electronic Plastic

From Tomy to Coleco to Mattel and Nintendo, check out this collection of over 660 handheld and tabletop videogames … [read review or visit site]

Pong Story

Pong Story

David Winter's tribute to early video games, and to Ralph H. Baer, 'inventor of the video game.' Offers a detailed … [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Mint Louis Cartier Backgammon Limited Edition Ballpoint Pen, Boxed, #0379/1847Vintage Wooden Chess Set & Board & Backgammon Superb Inlaid Marquetry Box/Vintage Catalin Bakelite Tournament Backgammon Checker Set In CaseVintage Backgammon Chess 2 Tone Dominoes Checkers Bakelite Travel Case RoyalVintage 1940's Backgammon Set/bakelite Chips/original Case/walter Richard ManualVintage Crysloid Catalin Bakelite Backgammon Chips Butterscotch Black/chocolate 11" Classic Backgammon Set Brown White Faux Leather Portable Travel Folding CaseBakelite Backgammon Pieces,30 Pieces,cups & Dice,multiplier Butterscotch/brownVintage Bakelite Backgammon Game Parts Pieces Jewelry Making Chunky Lot DiscsSet Of 30 Backgammon Or Checker Pieces Bakelite Never UsedVintage Catalin Bakelite Backgammon Chips Tiles, Dice & Cube 30 Vintage Games Jeux Backgammon Chess Dominos Checkers Wood Box W InstructionsVintage Backgammon Set 18"22 Vtg Bakelite Backgammon Swirled Marbled Chips 10 Red 12 Butterscotch 1 3/16"Wooden Piano Lacquer Backgammon Game Set 13 InchesVintage 11/16" Green Bakelite Backgammon Doubling CubeVintage Cardinal Backgammon Game W/ Marbelized Bakelite 1 1/4" Chips Very NiceVintage Antique 1930's Bakelite Backgammon Game Set John Samuels30 Backgammon Game Chips Pieces Dice Brown Off White Doubling Die 1 3/8th " Z8Backgammon Set Blue Corduroy Folding Case Navy Vintage Vintage Board Dice CupsAbpa Backgammon (intellivision, 1979)Lot Of 24 Red & Yellow Butterscotch Swirl Bakelite Backgammon Pieces - Bulls-eyeBackgammon Board Game Set Inlaid Wood Case 17 InchesVintage Backgammon Board Set Leather Briefcase Style Mid Century 1970's NiceBackgammon Set - Red & White 1 1/2" Finger Dip Checkers + Dice & Cube Board/box 3 In 1 Travel Game Set * Chess, Checkers & Backgammon * Nib Macdon Game Chest With Multiple Games - Backgammon,chess,dominoes,cribbage, Etc.Backgammon Mini Set Folding 6" X 4" Inlay Wood W Brass Lock & Accents CompleteTandy Backgammon Lcd Game Vintage GameCompact Portable Travel Backgammon Game Faux Soft Leather Brown WhiteDeluxe Seven Game Attache' Chess, Backgammon, Dominoes, Poker Dice, Cards, CribThis Is Very Beautiful Backgammon Board