Iron Wood (Ferralogia); 32 naturally weighted chessmen without board, narra vs. kamagong wood, Filipino, minor restorations to finials and collars, antiqued/recreated, c.1960
Height: King 11cm, Queen 9.5 cm, Bishop 8.5 cm. Knight 7.8cm, Rook 6.2cm, Pawns 5.5cm Weight: King (kamagong) 45g, (narra) 38g, Queen (av.) 40g, Bishop 33g. Knight 34g, Rook 30g, Pawns 23g. W: traditional red felt pads. B: same
Regarding weight; the darker kamagong (a.k.a. ‘ironwood’) pieces are fractionally heavier than the narra wood side by about 5 grams per piece on average – not a big deal over the board. Previously, I’ve added weight to the narra wood side to balance these vintage Philippine sets, but I’ve had these chessmen for a few years now and enjoy the difference between the two unique species of Asian wood. Add $100 CN to the set price, I’ll add weight, but I would prefer to pass this set on to someone who appreciates this rare (and now protected) wood for what it is.
This traditional Philippine club set arrived at my door in a battered and bruised condition. Both of the king’s finials were busted and there were a few ugly nicks to the collars here and there – over a half-century of battle had certainly taken its toll! All of these nicks and dinks have been repaired. The original patina was not the best example I’ve clapped eyes on, whatever varnish they used back in the day had probably reacted with nicotine-stained fingers over the decades and gained an unsightly greenish tinge that detracted rather than added to the attractive kamagong grain that lay beneath (browse my social for before pics).
Once stripped, I used an intricate combination of shellac (for depth) and a custom-matched, traditional rouge stain for the light side and applied the same to the dark pieces with a dash of walnut oil for good measure. The ‘dusty’ (and quite subtle) antiqued finish has been matched to a reference set from my own collection and with the aid of photographs from Holger Langer’s wonderful Philippine Collection, which I would encourage you to visit at Holger’s Antique Chess Collection online (chess-collection.de) or via our ‘links’ page here at thechessschach.com. Lush burgundy felt pads have also been added to the pieces – an ‘elevated’ version of the traditional red coloured pads of these Philippine sets.
All of our chess pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual/blitz play and both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent bronze 2021 ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases.
Ferralogia 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 2021 – “All good things …” as the wise man once said.
Ref Code; IW21