Et Densi (‘Tusk’); Large, Heavily Weighted Soviet Carbolite Chess Set, c.1965-1975
Tusk (Et Densi); 32 heavy, moulded-resin chessmen without board, Soviet carbolite (phenol-formaldehyde resin), additionally weighted, white vs. black, antiqued, c.1965
Height: King 10.5cm, weight 90g, base diameter 3.5cm (all pieces); Queen 9.5cm, wt 70g; Bishop 8cm 60g, Knight 8cm 65g, Rook 7cm 85g, Pawns 6.2cm 45g. Total weight: just over 2kg
W: Lush Russian blue felt pads; B: same
If you are in need of a board just let me know. I have several suitable options for you in various styles and colours. Open a conversation at thechessschach [at] gmail.com
Of all the cast Soviet sets of the Cold War period this large, iconic pattern is by far my favourite. The only issue with them is that they were originally weighted with sand rather than casting them in solid resin-like some earlier Soviet carbolite/textolite sets dating back to the 1940s. The issue being that once the pads/glue loosened over time the sand would escape, as was the case with this set, so to remedy this irk I have filled the moulds with industrial lead caulking, which distributes the weight very evenly throughout the pieces. This lends the set a very ‘natural’ weighty feel to them, made all the more pleasurable by the smooth, cool, polished plaster feel to this very attractive, and in my opinion, under-appreciated Soviet tournament set.
You may not be surprised, but I just couldn’t resist using a very subtle antiquing technique on these pieces, simply because as I was cleaning the finger-slime off of them I noticed a few minute hair-line fractures here and there, very similar to those that you also see in many marble statues in museums. These are only surface wounds, lacerations, the scars of a half-century of battle – I wanted to highlight these trophies rather than hide them! Once I did so, the sheen and history of the Soviet carbolite came to life showing the beauty of its age – and with the addition of weight the pieces suddenly felt like ivory or bone – hence, the inspiration for the name, ‘TUSK’ – as that is what they feel like in hand, and hopefully your hands too! This is truly a handsome, weighty set to throw about the board, as have so many Soviet chess players of the not so distant past.
NOTE: The finials of the royals are not original. I found these to be an absolute eye-sore, to be quite honest. The design I’ve chosen, for me, suits the mood and style of the Chess Schach sets much better. They are made of plastic – as were the originals.
TUSK is a heavily-weighted Soviet carbolite chess set that is UV resistant and ideal for display and casual/blitz play. Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent bronze ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases. The set is also accompanied by our unique, hand-drawn ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted out separately once we tally up how many ‘Bronze Signature’ sets pass through our galleries in 2021… “… all good things …” as the old saying goes.
thechessschach.com Set Price: $500.00
Ref Code: ED21
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