Bakii Primus (Baku I); 32 wooden chessmen (weighted) without board, amber v. deep brown, USSR, Stalin Era, circa 1940-1955
Height: King 10.7cm (4 1/4”), wt 23g, base width 3.5cm, Queen 9.2cm wt 22g, Bishop 8.2cm, Knight 7.5cm, Rook 6.2cm, Pawn 5.2cm. W: antiqued light yellow felt bases B: same
Quite simply, a wonderful example of the earliest (and rarest) of the classic Soviet ‘Baku’ series of tournament chessmen. The unctuous layers of black lead paint and lacquer have been painstakingly removed exposing the true beauty of the wood grain beneath. A clean, modern approach to an iconic Russian chess set – respectfully keeping the original flavour of the Stalin era in mind, of course!
The antique finish of the light pieces has been painstakingly achieved with many thin layers of tinted shellac, oils, and waxes which will mature nicely with age. The dark pieces have been stripped and restained in a deep chocolate brown with amber undertones complimenting the light pieces perfectly. There are a few knicks here and there, which adds to the character of the set as a whole, therefore have been kept for that reason. All in all, a very sexy set to look at – and to play with!
The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual/blitz play.
Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent ‘power’ signature of the artist on their bases.
ref code: BP20