Tinctum Imperatrix (Scarlet Empress)
32 weighted chessmen without board, wood, red v. black, Soviet, c.1940
Height: King 4”/10.3cm wt 25g base diameter 3.6cm. Queen 8.5cm wt 21g. Bishop 7.5cm 21g. Knight 8cm 22g. Rook 5.7cm 25g. Pawn 5cm 15g.
White: black felt bases B: red antiqued felt bases.
Four of the black pawns and two from the light side are replacements, turned by the well-known master-craftsman, Alan Dewey, and colour-matched/antiqued by yours truly. The king and queen finials are not original, but are modelled on similar sets from the same era (they are somewhat smaller than the originals as I wanted the knights and bishops to be the focus of the set). The replacement pawns have been artistically restored to perfectly match the antiqued/distressed finish of the original pieces, and to be quite honest, even I now have trouble detecting which ones are ‘new’ and which ones are the original, which is, of course, what I intended! A pat on the back to me!
Certain small areas of the original patina have also been carefully restored or ‘elevated’ as my wife Angie likes to describe my delicate tinkerings, a few ugly chips here and there have also been repaired, but a few ‘battle-scars’ remain as they add to the character of the set as a whole.
This was a lengthy and quite difficult project, but I must admit a very enjoyable and rewarding one. I sincerely hope these wonderful and unique pieces find a good home.
Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent silver ‘power’ signature of the artist on their bases. All pieces are UV resistant and ideal for casual play as well as display.
Ref code: TI20
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