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    

A Beautiful Victorian Antique Wooden Inlaid Folding Chess & Backgammon BoardCrisloid Backgammon Checkers Chips Bakelite 15 Butterscotch Swirl & Green SwirlVintage Bakelite Backgammon Game 30 Pieces Swirled Green Yellow DiceEstate Vtg Set Crisloid Backgammon Chips Checkers Cups Dice Huge Doubling CubeVintage Crisloid Backgammon Set Yellow&red Bakelite 1.75” Wow! Nr!Vintage Sterling Silver Art Deco Backgammon Doubling Cube Antique Giant Bakelite Backgammon Doubling Cube PersonailzedVintage Marquetry Mosaic Inlaid Mother Of Pearl Inlaid Backgammon Set W/ PiecesVintage Aries Backgammon Leather Set BakeliteVintage Red & Amber Bakelite Royal Crisloid? Backgammon Game Case Cork30 Bakelite/catalin Round Backgammon Game PiecesCrisloid Backgammon Checkers Chips Bakelite 15 Butterscotch Swirl & Green SwirlBakelite Backgammon Pieces, Green And GoldAntique Cow/buffalo Horn Backgammon CheckersMid-century Modernist Giant Sterling Silver Backgammon Doubling Cube PendantBakelite Backgammon Pieces, Red And Gold, Double SetBakelite Backgammon Pieces, Red And WhiteVintage Backgammon Dice Game In A Travel Folding Case1940's Backgammon Set Bakelite With DiceRare Backgammon Checkers, 1 1/2 By 3/8", Unique Design And ColorsVintage Bakelite Backgammon Pieces Vintage Mid Century Butterscotch Red Backgammon Board Game Pieces Dice Cup BoxMint Backgammon Game Board With Checkers & Dice Vintage Backgammon Game Set With Carry Travel Case ManualBackgammon ~new Geoffrey Parker ~ Leather (faux Croc) Tournament SizeVintage Bakelite Backgammon Pieces Vintage Leather Brown Backgammon Set Brief Case With Rules BakeliteBackgammon Set Leather Bound CaseThe Lotus Backgammon Turkish Board - Size 19'' -yenigun TavlaThe 19'' Turkish Backgammon Board Game Set "small White Tulips" DesignDraughts Backgammon Antiquarian Handbook 1863 Victorian Board Games ChequersUnique Old Backgammon Game In Box Great Britain Vintage Bakelite Checkers Backgammon Game Pieces - 3 DifferentTravel Pocket Magnetic Checkers And Backgammon