The Class of ‘36 (Genus XXXVI); 32 vintage chess pieces without board, German, natural wood vs antiqued black, birch and maple wood, weighted, artistically-recreated, c.1935-1950
Height: King 8.8cm, weight 30g, base width 3.3cm; Queen 7.5cm, wt. 20g; Bishop 6.5cm 12g, Knight 6cm 10g, Rook 4.8cm 12g, Pawns 4cm 8g.
W: Lush crimson felt pads; B: same.
A well-balanced, minimalist chess set designed in the functional Bauhaus style specifically for the Munich Chess Olympiad of 1936. For me, the bullet-shaped bishops totally steal the show in this early “Deutsche Bundesform” pattern, as they are literally designed for battle. Indeed, it’s rare to find one of these sets with any damage at all, as the perfunctory ringed collars are virtually bomb-proof!
Amongst collectors, and somewhat unfairly in my opinion, this set generally gets a bad rap. The word ‘ugly’ is often bandied about to describe the design, especially the knights, whose pear-shaped physique I’ve taken the liberty of streamlining, or ‘elevating’ ever so slightly, but other than that the design remains faithful to the original. Another nice feature of this early pattern is the crenellated turrets of the rooks, which in later patterns are replaced with a bowl-shaped form. Like the Soviet sets of the same era, the Bundesform design veers sharply away from the traditional Staunton tournament chessmen, the cross finial is lost on the king and a simple dome is adopted for the queen whose four indentations are highlighted in a matt finish here, in contrast to the high-sheen finish of the set as a whole.
The deep, rich finish of the set was achieved by a layering technique, using a combination of custom-coloured shellacs, varnishes and tinted oils, sanded back meticulously between coats. This gives the pieces an aged feel about them, which like a good bottle of wine, will also age wonderfully over the coming years.
The set is UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual play and both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent pearl ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases. The Class of ‘36 also comes with our unique ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted on separately once we tally up how many listings passed through our galleries in 2023 … “All good things …” as the wise man once said.
Etsy Set Price: $750.00
thechessschach.com Set Price: $650 CA inc. free shipping
Ref Code C36