To mark the completion of the Trans-Atlantic telegraph, a game began on May 31, 1897, between teams of five players each from the House of Commons in London and the House of Representatives in Washington. After moves were relayed back and forth for two days, the match was drawn with each side scoring 2.5 points.
Standing 3in (7.5cm) high, the gilt bronze ‘rook’ is set to the top with a section of the telegraph wire laid by the Anglo-American Telegraph Co of London and the Western Union Telegraph Co of New York. It is signed C&AG to the base.
A number of these souvenirs were produced at the time and they occasionally appear for sale, appealing to both chess collectors and admirers of the Giulianos. This one, offered at Mallams’ sale of Jewellery, Watches & Silver in Oxford on July 2, sold at £3600 (plus buyer’s premium).