Legio Victorum (The Conquerers); 32 plastiform figural/sculptured chess pieces without board, weighted, hand-painted, ivory vs. cochineal red with iridescent bronze highlights, antiqued, made in the U.S. (each piece carries the stamp ‘Peter Ganine 1962’ on their bases).
Height: King 11.7cm, wt 35g, base width (all pieces) 3.6cm or 1 1/2”; Queen 11cm wt 32g, Bishop 10.7cm 30g, Knight 9.8cm 40g, Rook 9.5cm 32g, Pawn 8cm 19g, base width 3cm.
W: burgundy felt bases, B: same
This was one of the first chess sets I was given as a child (in the mid-’70s, I believe) and has survived remarkably well considering all the battles myself and my brother have had with this set over the years. As a child, I was fascinated by these ‘lifelike’ forms and still admire the intricate detailing as an artist today. Here, I have merely endeavoured to bring these fine details to the fore with various painting techniques and subtle sculptural tweaks here and there, as many of these details were lost on the plain black versus white originals.
The most prominent of these ‘tweaks’ is to the king’s lengthy beard which originally came to an abrupt halt in a pharaoh-like fashion. Instead, I have given His Majesty an unruly, full beard letting it flow almost down to the hilt of his gleaming broad-sword below. The bishop has also gained a raised centrepiece to his mitre, the queen some jewellery and more than a few noses have been broken along our journey adding even more character to these unique and animated chess pieces.
Finally, the cochineal red vs. ivory colours reflects the old English sets of the 19th century, highlighted here with fine iridescent bronze which I’ve used sparingly but effectively, representing the power of wealth that would have been flaunted unashamedly during the turbulent times of the medieval crusades.
Both kings carry the iridescent bronze 2021 hand-painted ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases and are UV resistant, therefore ideal for display as well as casual play.
All of our sets also come with a ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted on separately from the set once we have tallied up how many ‘Bronze Signature’ sets have passed through our galleries in 2021.
“All good things …” as they say.
Ref code; LV21