Comrade Druekski (Soviet Drueke); 32 vintage “Ausma” (Dawn) chessmen without board, plastic, Latvian, ivory vs. black, artistically reimagined, weighted, c.1970
Height: King 8.3cm, weight 25g, base width 3cm; Queen 7cm, wt. 20g; Bishop 6.3cm 15g, Knight 5.5cm 15g, Rook 4.8cm 15g, Pawns 4.3cm 10g.
W: Lush Latvian red felt pads; B: same
A Latvian pattern that has been given a refined and thorough makeover. The original hollow plastic chessmen have been entirely filled with a mixture of tungsten powder and filler with additional weight added to the bases. The light side has been given an antiqued ivory finish with aged, fine gold detailing. The dark side was finished in matte black, which has been waxed and buffed, as has the deep bronze detail work.
The elegant tear-drop mitre of the bishops can only be inspired by Moscow’s Saint Basil’s Cathedral and its “towering domes shaped like the flames of a bonfire rising into the sky” (A. Ivanov, The Tsars p.100). A description that inspired the use of gleaming gold and bronze metallics for this particular set.
The knights bear a striking resemblance to the American Drueke patterns from the 1940s on (hence, the playful moniker). In particular, the ‘barred’ ears parted with just a hint of a mane. The Soviets were not at all shy of ‘borrowing’ freely from the popular chess patterns of Europe and even further afield!
Both kings carry the hand-painted 2023 IRIDESCENT PEARL ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases and are accompanied by our unique ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which are posted out separately, once we tally up how many pearl signature sets passed through our galleries in 2023.
Etsy Set Price: $550.00
thechessschach.com Set Price: $450.00 CDN
Ref Code: CD23