Arte Baku; 32 weighted chessmen without board, wood, chestnut red vs. black, artistically restored (faux finished), Soviet Era, c.1955
Height: King 10.5cm or just over 4”, weight 35g, base width 3.5cm; Queen 9.3cm, wt 35g, bw 4cm; Bishop 8.4cm 30g, Knight 7.7cm 35g, Rook 6.5cm 30g, Pawns 5.8cm 20g.
W: Lush Russian blue felt pads, B: same
Board pictured can be purchased with the set for an additional $150.00 CN
Original and very rare Baku II pattern from the famous 1961 Tournament.
Here we are excited to offer one of my most favourite designs of the Baku II series of chessmen – the knights having a more ‘Stautonesque’ feel about them as opposed to the later Baku pattern (compare to the ‘Fire and Ash’ Baku set in our gallery). If you appreciate art you will certainly appreciate the artistry and attention to detail that went into this set. For the light side, I’ve employed an intricate ‘faux wood’ finishing technique, meaning it is completely and meticulously hand-painted, gradually building up multiple layers of custom-tinted washes, sandwiched between shellac, wood stain and antiquing oils to resemble in every respect an antiqued/aged wood finish.
You would never know it, but two white rooks and three of the pawns were originally black pieces of the same pattern (the set was purchased incomplete). The final rich chestnut-red colour is matched to one of my Baku reference pieces from roughly the same era (see additional photos of the process at our HQ, thechessschach.com or browse through my social posts). The aged/worn finish of the black pieces was achieved using a similar layering technique. This was then subtly distressed to give the set a real ‘old timey’ feel to them that almost resembles polished plaster.
Additionally, one of the black knight’s ears has been restored, as have two of the white bishops finials. The black king’s finial is bone, the opposing king’s finial is wood. 70% of the weights are original. Those that lost their weight have been matched to the original tournament pieces.
Arte Baku is indeed a work of art and a great ‘working’ chess set, too, and yet another legion of old warriors that have been given a new stab at life! Which pleases me greatly.
Arte Baku is UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual/blitz play. Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent bronze ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases.
The set is also accompanied by our hand-drawn ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted out separately once we tally up how many ‘Bronze Signature’ sets passed through our galleries in 2021 … “All good things …” as the old saying goes.
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