✨SET OF THE MONTH✨ Mordor (Field of Shadows); Classic Mordovian U.S.S.R. Chessmen with Hand-Painted Board, c.1952
Field of Shadows (Mordor); 32 vintage chess pieces with antiqued board, wood, Soviet, fiery orange vs. black, weighted, artistically restored, c.1950-1955
Height: King 9cm, weight 20g, base width 3.7cm; Queen 8.2cm, wt. 22g, bw 3.8cm; Bishop 7cm 12g, Knight 6cm 20g, Rook 5cm 22g, Pawns 4.5cm 8g.
W: Lush Prussian Blue felt pads; B: same
Board dimensions: 40cm x 40cm
I thought I’d start 2024 off with a BANG! – or rather, a fiery explosion of vibrant orange! I simply love working with this colour, which is achieved by mixing custom-coloured amber and golden shellac with a minute amount of powdered crimson that is systematically aged and distressed over multiple layers. The dark pieces have had the black, lead-based paint removed and then washed with a deep brown stain, antiqued with walnut oil and then buffed with a dark wax and finally revisited with black (lead-free) oils and a few other unique techniques that I’ll keep under my hat…
The set has been weighted, as most collectors find the pieces a little too light for their liking, as do I. Disc weights were used for the knights and once you handle them, honestly, you’ll never want to play with an unweighted Mordovian set again! The board is not native to the set but of the same era. It has been darkened and antiqued. The word ‘mor’ means dark, or murky, hence my playful moniker for the set – The Field of Shadows – as opposed to Mordor; The Land of Darkness… 😉
The wooden finials of the kings are my own concept mirroring the signifiers of the bishops, simply reduced to one-third of the size. The opposing colours are traditional with Soviet sets and the colour scheme is based on other extant sets of this pattern.
The silky smooth, hand-worn finish of the pieces was achieved with an intense hand rub just before the final shellac coats set up properly. This was then burnished further using the backside of a teaspoon! – a restoration technique I often used in my previous life as a faux-finisher when replicating aged bronze. You can’t say we don’t go that extra mile at The Chess Schach!
The accompanying folding board is also signed and dated by the artist. The standard notion was added by the previous owner, probably during the 1970s (it was very worn in places) when FIDE abandoned the Descriptive Notation of yesteryear. The worn areas have been restored and antiqued. The ‘Power’ signature occupies the h1 square.
Etsy Set Price: $950.00
thechessschach.com Set Price: $850.00 CDN with free shipping.
✨SET OF THE MONTH PRICING: $765.00✨
Ref Code: M24