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    

Nib T. Anthony Vintage Brown Genuine Leather Cased Backgammon Game Board Set Hg2Vintage 1950's Catalin Bakelite Butterscotch Green Backgammon Set 1.5" PiecesCrisloid Backgammon Bakelite Butterscotch Green Marble Chips Dice Rare SetVintage Backgammon Set - Handmade Tooled Leather - Wood Dice - Made In Mexico*dunhill*(fragrances) Unused/new Backgammon Set(travel) & BoxBackgamon / Checker Set Never Used All New Free ShippingBeautiful Mosaic Checkers Backgammon & Chess Board Inlaid With Mother Of PearlVintage 15" Backgammon Board Game Set Suitcase Travel Leather CaseRare Coca Cola Soda Pop Coke Backgammon Game Really Works MintVintage Bakelite? Backgammon CheckersVintage Drueke #104 Travel Chess/checker/backgammon Game Wooden BoxSaitek Electronic Sensory Backgammon Computer Rare Wow!!! New 20" Syrian Mosaic Backgammon & Chess BoardLot Of 20 Vintage Bakelite Poker/backgammon Chips Yellow & Green Vintage Aries Backgammon Blue Gray Wool Plaid Case 100% Complete Board GameVintage Backgammon Game Pieces,old Plastic,15-red,15-cream 4-dice,1-doubling CuBakelite Game Backgammon Black Swirl "rare" 1 Replacement Piece Amazing, Luxury 20" Golden Eagle, Handmade Wooden Leather Backgammon Board.Bozart Toys Artists Inc 2001 Karim Rashid Chess Set Black And White Game Board Outstanding Vintage 20" "inlaid Mosaic Wooden Backgammon ~ Chess ~ Checker BoardChecker Chess & Backgammon Board & Box Inlaid Wood Inlay Pearl Artisan Mosaic Vintage Backgammon Game With Red And Butterscotch Chips, Complete With Book30 Marbleized Plastic Style Backgammon Checkers - Chips Red & White 1.42''Vintage Game Master Travel Gambling Set Roulette Backgammon Horse RacingVintage--- Backgammon Travel Board And Pieces---early 1900s--completeBag Gammon Travel Games Retails For 14.95!! Nwt!Backgammon 5.25" Dos Software For Ibm Pc Vintage Spinnaker 1987 No Reserve 2 Telescopes With Stand New In Box Great For Starters Or Youth Auction Is For 2Backgammon Doubling Cube -36mm- Pearl Black W/gold! Wow!New Cardinal Solid Wood And Brass 6 Game Ensemble Chess, Backgammon, Cribbage