Domes of Old Russia (Domi Rus); 32 heavily-weighted Soviet Era chess pieces without board, plastiform, ivory vs. deep brown with gold and bronze detailing, hand-painted and antiqued, Uzbekistan, c.1970-1980
Height: King 11cm, weight 50g, base width 3.3cm; Queen 10cm, wt 50g; Bishop 8.5cm 35g, Knight 8cm 38g, Rook 7cm 40g, Pawns 6.3cm 25g
W: lush burgundy (lightly antiqued) felt pads, B: same
Inspired by 15th and 16th century cathedrals and churches of medieval Russia, particularly those from the ancient Novgorod region of Old Rus and the glistening golden domes of the stunning Saint Sophia Cathedral in Veliky.
The pieces originate from the Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan (U.S.S.R.) in Central Asia. One of several countries known colloquially as ‘The Stans’ and bear striking similarities to earlier wooden sets from Kazakhstan.
Obviously, my aim was for the shimmering metallic ‘onion’ and ‘ball’ domes to be the stars of show, therefore, I have kept the body of the pieces relatively simple, juxtaposing an antiqued matte finish against the dry-brushed gold and bronze detail work which catches the light in many different ways depending on the hour of the day.
As with all my sets, I use many different combinations and recipes to achieve the finish I desire. The dark pieces have a very subtle red wash over them which is difficult (for me!) to photograph. The wash was then antiqued and finished with a burgundy wax coat that was hand-rubbed onto the surface lending the pieces a real sense of elegant antiquity.
The domes received multiple layers of gold and bronze metallic coats aged with shellac, wax and oil glazes – and I also added a few minute stars to the kings’ finials, too – thank me later!
These heavily-weighted pieces are 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.
Domi Rus are also accompanied by our unique ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted out separately once we tally up how many ‘Bronze Signature’ sets pass through our galleries in 2021
“… all good things …” as the old saying goes.
Etsy Set Price; $750.00
thechessschach.com Set Price; $550.00
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