Spielmann’s Lambs; 32 medium-sized analysis chess pieces without board, wood, Austrian, partially restored and weighted, amber vs. deep brown/black, c.1925-1940
Height: King 7cm or 2 3/4 inches, weight 9g, base width (all pieces) 2.3cm; Queen 5.5cm wt. 8g, Bishop 5cm 5g, Knight 4.5cm 4g, Rook 3.7cm 4g, Pawns 3.7cm 4g
W: traditional green felt pads, B: same
This set came to me via a collector in Austria, a trade in return for a very nice vintage chess clock. What initially caught my eye was its close resemblance to a set photographed with a chess hero of mine, the ‘Master of Sacrifice’ himself, Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942), who threw his pieces at the enemy king “like lamb’s to the slaughter” – hence, our playful moniker for this wonderfully aged set.
Spielmann would have been in his mid-forties in the gallery photograph, as a similarly posed snap was taken at the famous Karlsbad Tournament of 1929 when his hairline had receded and had dropped his little moustache after the rise of Nazism following WWI. We can deduce, therefore, that this Austrian ‘kaffeehaus’ pattern (with its distinct single dimple on the knights’ chest and “snake-like” posture) would have been in circulation from the mid-twenties on and was perhaps even a favourite of the Austrian maestro?!
The set is in excellent condition for its age with an attractive, worn patina. I have added a very small amount of weight to the rooks and royals, just to give them a little more oomph over the board. The original finish was somewhat erratic, so I’ve merely brought the pieces together again so as to look like a more uniform set, simply highlighting and elevating the attractive and eliminating or knocking back the not so. Traditional green felt has also been added, which can be antiqued/aged if you prefer – I leave that decision to you.
Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent copper 2022 ‘power’ signature of the artist on their bases and are accompanied by one of our unique Certificates of Authenticity. See the Jan. 2022 chessay on our All About Chess page for more info on this.
Etsy Set Price; $750.00
thechessschach.com Set Price; $650.00
Ref Code IA22