Domus Habsburgiae (Fortress of the Hawk); 32 weighted wooden chessmen without board, light brown vs. dark brown, circa early twentieth century.
Height: King 11cm, wt 30g, base width 3.2cm, Queen 9.6cm, wt 25g, Bishop 7.6cm 20g, Knight 7.8cm 32g, Rook 6.6cm 25g, Pawn 4.5cm 15g. W: black felt bases B: same
Here we are offering, quite simply, a very, very sexy chess set!
Strictly speaking, it would be classified as an Austrian Coffee House (’kaffeehaus’) design, but it has several unusual features that lead me to believe it originated in Southern Germany or at least very close to the Austro-Germany border before the collapse of the Austrian Empire in 1918. The set has many peculiarities, which are reminiscent of other sets I’ve seen in museums (for instance, www.chessmuseum.com/southerngermany) which also feature the single large collar on the royals (as opposed to the traditional three collars) and the tear-shaped dome of the bishops, differing from the rotund domes of many Austrian designs. The crown of the king also strays from the norm and the knights, to put it quite simply, are just magnificent!
The light side has been taken back to what they would have looked like a century ago. The dark side has been subtly antiqued, exposing the glorious wood grain that lay buried for decades beneath copious layers of black lead paint. Weight has also been added and covered with black felt pads making this set an absolute joy to play with and admire. In short, one of the most stunning sets that have ever passed through my hands, and should you become the eventual owner, I envy you already!
The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual/blitz play. Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent silver ‘power’ signature of the artist on their bases.
Set Price: $1200.00