Persian “khatam”-style inlaid game board, ca. 1910-1940. Teak wood inlaid with other woods, enamelware, and oyster shell.
This game board closes into a box and has a surface for chess on top and backgammon underneath. Chess originated in India and backgammon in the ancient Middle East; both games are traditionally popular in Persia and hence were common subjects for khatam inlay artists. Such artwork is harder to find in the United States since the Iranian revolution.