Sachorium (The Czechs); Large Czech Chess Club Set, ‘Ceska Klubovka’ circa 1945-1960
The Czechs (Sachorium); 32 weighted chessmen without board, wood, Czechoslovakian, artistically restored, white v. black, c.1950
Height: King 12cm or 4 3/4”, weight 30g, base diameter 4cm (all bases); Queen 10.3cm wt 28g; Bishop 10cm 20g, Knight 7cm 22g, Rook 6cm 30g, Pawns 5.8cm 15g
W: lush burgundy felt bases; B: same
The Czechs carry a steadfast, traditional Czechoslovakian pattern that dates back to the last few decades of the nineteenth century, the brain-child of the patriotic Czech sculptor, Bohuslav Schnirch (1845-1901)*. These distinct designs first appeared in the smoke-laden, gentleman’s gaming rooms such as the Cafe Slavia and the Cafe Union of the old Habsburg Empire (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) back in the late 1880s and have close and obvious links to the well-known kaffeehaus, or ‘Coffeehouse’ patterns of eastern Europe, their brothers-in-arms, one might say.
A slightly earlier version of this set can be seen on the Czech website www.sachy.ceska.cz second from the top. The alterations (elongated bishop’s collars, knight’s eyes and opposite coloured crenellations) are my own which are matched to the original patina.
Weight has been added and burgundy felt replaces the original thin red paper covering of the bases.
Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent bronze ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases. The Czechs are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual/blitz play. The set also comes with a ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which are posted out separately once we tally up how many ‘Bronze Signature’ sets passed through our galleries in 2021.
… “All good things …” as the saying goes.
*This gentleman was the first president and founder of the “Cesky Spole Sachorni” (Czech Chess Club) established in 1884.
Ref Code: CZ21
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