Alemani Leporum (Germanic Charm); 32 lightly weighted wooden chessmen without board, German, ochre vs. dark walnut, antiqued, post WWII era, c.1960
Height: King 8cm, wt 15g, base width 3.2cm; Queen 7.5cm wt 16g, Bishop 6cm wt 8g, Knight 6cm wt 11g, Rook 4.2cm wt 10g Pawn 4cm wt 5g.
W: antiqued red felt bases B: same
An uncommon ‘Stauntonesque’ design with a Bavarian twist! The knights in particular are reminiscent of the rather unflatteringly dubbed “chicken-headed” knights seen in other Germanic/Austrian designs of this era.*
I had the pleasure of visiting Germany on many an occasion during the 1980’s and distinctly remember this unusual knight (that I admit was not exactly my cup of tea at the time!) from an evening in Munich’s famous Hofbrauhaus, which was certainly a lively scene for a quiet game of chess! I can’t recall which was louder, the clinking and clashing of multiple steins being chinked in the air around me or the ker-pounding of chess pieces being slammed down like dominoes by a table of four elderly, well-whiskered Bavarian locals sitting in ‘their corner’ of this historic drinking hall.
Each had his own individual porcelain stein and each stein had its own individual little locker where it had most probably been kept since the time of the Great Wars. At this time I looked about as far away from your stereotypical chess-player as you can imagine (I had spiky black and auburn hair for starters!) and was dressed in the ‘punky’ ragamuffin fashion of the day, but I managed to get a seat at the table (most probably for amusements sake only). Anyhow, to cut to the quick, I was out-supped and out-played, but the aged, beer-sodden patina of their playing pieces (which must have been from the 50s or 60s) remains in my mind to this day and this quirky little German set is dedicated to the memory of the those well-whiskered Bavarians – and the commiserative, apre-game, vice-like handshake that my fifteen-year-old fingers will never forget!
*google ‘chicken-headed knights’
All pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual play. Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent silver signature of the artist on their bases.
Ref code AL20
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