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    

C 1899 Games Board Inlay China Trade Export Backgammon Draughts Chess Set Nr Yqz30 Bakelite Backgammon Red & Butterscotch Discs Only Crisloid 30 Vintage Marbled Bakelite Backgammon Pieces Cherry Red/butterscotch 1 3/4"Vintage Hit Backgammon Board Game Suitcase Briefcase Backgammon Game In A Case, A Very Fun GameVintage Backgammon Set 1 1/2" Bakelite Green & Yellow Swirl CheckersCrisloid Backgammon Set - Mint ConditionVintage Backgammon Board Large Green Yellow W/keys Leather Cups Lk NwNew Trademark Games Deluxe Wooden Chess Checker & Backgammon Set $78Aries Backgammon Game Set Vintage Plaid Attache Case Euc Red Chocolate Brown TanCrate&barrel Backgammon Board Game - Red Leather #607-045 Ages 8 To AdultHand Carved Marble Chess Checkers Backgammon Set 3 Games In One GorgeousOld Incomplete Set Red Butterscotch Backgammon Game Chips With DiceVintage Set 0f 30 Red & Orange Bakelite/caitlin Backgammon Checkers & Box!Unique Vintage - Bakelite Backgammon Pieces With Die And Brass Cups Large 20" X 15" Brown Faux Leather Backgammon Set - Foldinng Travel CaseBackgammon Game In CaseSet Arabesque Syrian Rose Wood Mosaic Chess / Backgammon Board & PiecesLarge Vintage Backgammon/chess/checker Board Inlaid Wood & Mother Of Pearl Bakelite Backgammon Set Off White & Brown Dice & Cups Double Dice 30 Marbleized Plastic Style Backgammon Checkers - Chips Red & White 1.42''Vintage Skor-mor Corduroy Backgammon Game Case Travel Set Complete New In BoxReplacement Backgammon Pieces Markers 1" X 1/4" 15 Of Each ColorMichael Graves Backgammon Set In Wooden Box With All Pieces- Never UsedHand Carved Wooden Chess / Backgammon - Asian Complete Self Contained BoxPierre Cardin Backgammon CaseLarge 18" X 22" Brown / Tan Faux Leather Backgammon Set - Foldinng Travel CaseDrueke Travel Multi Game Set Backgammon, Checkers, Chess, Cribbage Backgammon Board Game Set Suitcase Travel Leatherette CaseApex Backgammon Game Set Faux Brown Leather Breifcase Case TravelBackgammon For Atari 2600