Remeditati (Man Ray Reimagined): Man Ray Reproduction Chess Set, 32 reimagined and reworked chessmen in original box, beechwood, light brown vs. dark brown, weighted, antiqued/distressed, manufactured under license of the Man Ray Trust in 2012.
Height: King 8.5cm, weight 40g, base 4cm sq. so just under 1 1/2″; Queen 8.5 cm, wt 36g, base 4cm, Bishop 6.5cm wt 32g, Knight 5.3cm 26g, Rook 4cm 40g, Pawns 3.7cm 20g.
W: antiqued soft beige felt pads, B: same
A classical geometric pattern designed by the famed Dada artist and sculptor, Man Ray (1890-1976) in 1920 which veers sharply away from the overly traditional, figurative characteristics of the Victorian ‘Staunton’ pattern designed some 70 years prior. There is an accompanying info sheet with the set (included) that gives more detailed information on this “revolutionary” and quite beautiful state-of-the-art chess set.
This unique ‘one-off’ reimagining of the 2012 repro transports the set back to the 1920s – it’s how I imaged a naturally finished, well-kept set would look like today had it been made just over 100 years ago. The reproduction was purchased new in 2017, but on arrival, I was disappointed with the lifeless plasticky finish, the lightness of the pieces and the somewhat unsteady knight that had a tendency to topple over quite easily. These ‘flaws’ have been rectified by the addition of weight and removal of the ‘modern’ uninspiring finish, which has been reimagined and given a naturally aged finish using materials that would have been at hand in the 1920s.
I feel that it is now a set that Man Ray would have been quite happy to play with – and I sincerely hope you will feel that way too!
The chess pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual play and both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent bronze 2021 ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases.
Man Ray Remeditati 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: MR21