Pterodactylus Milities (Pterodactyl Knights), 32 lightly-weighted chessmen without board, wood, light brown v. dark brown, Soviet (post Stalin era), circa 1955 – 1965. Height: King 9.5cm, weight 18g, base width 3.5cm, Queen 8.5cm, Bishop 7cm, Knight 7.5cm, Rook 5.5cm, Pawn 4.5cm. W: red felt bases, B: same
What is striking about this seldom seen Soviet set is how modern and clean the design appears – almost suggesting an Art Nouveau influence – considering the era and area in which it was produced. In contrast, the ‘grimacing’ Knights have an almost prehistoric look about them (hence the quirky moniker!), but add a great deal of charm to the set enhanced by the simplicity of the sleek and slender pieces that surround them.
Note: the mitres of the Bishops are quite sharp and unsuitable for young children. The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display, as well as casual play. Both Kings carry the hand-painted iridescent gold signature of the artist on their felt bases.
Set price: $700
Ref code PR3