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    

Vintage Bakelite Game Pieces Backgammon Checkers Butterscotch Green Marble 30pcsVintage Cardinal Bakelite Backgammon Game Set Heavy Marble Red Egg Yolk Yellow Antique Chess And Backgammon Board Box 4.5cm SquaresBackgammon Board Game Set Inlaid Wood Case 17 InchesLarge Crisloid Backgammon Tournament Vintage Game 1.75 CheckersSet Of 30 Bakelite Backgammon Checkers 15 Red 15 Butterscotch 1 1/2" X 1/2"Crisloid Backgammon Set30 Backgammon Game Chips Pieces Dice Brown Off White Doubling Die 3/4" B29 Franklin Mint Excalibur Backgammon Set With CoinsBakelite Backgammon 15 Green & 15 Butterscotch Game Pieces,4 Dice,doubling Die,+Backgammon 15 Red & 15 Yellow Bakelite Game Pieces, + 4 Dice,doubling Die,shakerMark Cross Bakelite Backgammon Set In Original Houndstooth AttacheRoyal Crisloid Backgammon Board Game Tweed Case Brown And Yellow Chips BakeliteNoble Games Backgammon - David R Ripley Designed - Beautiful Wood Design10" Classic Backgammon Set Travel Folding Case Chrome Metal & PlasticEarly Vintage Crisloid Backgammon Set Magnetic Travel Size 9 1/2" X 7"Backgammon With The Champions Vol. Ii Number 2Vintage Aries Beverly Hills Abh Backgammon #a306-00 Green & Butterscotch UnusedRenzo Romagnoli Backgammon Luxury Leather Travel SetVintage Crisloid 1 1/4” Smooth Butterscotch & Chocolate Checkers/backgammon PcsRoyal Crisloid Backgammon Board Game Tweed Case Brown And Yellow Chips BakeliteVintage Backgammon Set With Red & Buttersotch Bakelite Chips W 4 Dice15 Bakelite Butterscotch Backgammon CheckersBackgammon Set In 2-tone Brown Case, Ex. Cond.Pressman Black & Gray Leatherette Case Backgammon Board Dice Game 1996Crisloid Set Of 30 Bakelite Backgammon Pcs 1 1/4" Yellow/red Swirl VtgVintage Crisloid Travel Backgammon Set Red & White 3/4" Chips 8.5" Plastic CaseBackgammon Playing Pieces And Dice That Look Like BakeliteCrisloid Plastics Inc. Backgammon - Royal Brand ( Light Wear On 2 Red Pieces )Phillip Martyn On Backgammon (1976, Book, Illustrated) Former World Champion