Vita Rilius; 32 lightly weighted chessmen without board, white v. blood red, circa. post WWII, possibly earlier. Height: King 10cm, wt 18g base width 3cm, Queen 9cm, Bishop 6.8cm, Knight 6cm, Rook 5.3cm, Pawn 5.2cm; W: green felt pads B: same
Named for my nephew Riley, this set is what I have come to call ‘the mystery set.’ I have asked well-known collectors about it who were equally stumped, one from Singapore calling it “a rare design” and another from the U.S. saying it was reminiscent of the “early twentieth-century Drueke sets.” My own research guided me towards the French-made Lardy designs, especially the erect knight with the raised mane, the dark Queen also has what is sometimes called “the Lardy lean” but these facts alone are not conclusive.
Nevertheless, it’s a great little analysis set, well weighted for its size with the original lead weights. Perfect for an entry level collector or someone who just likes the feel of a beautiful (and perhaps very rare!) old chess set.
The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual play. Both kings carry the hand-painted ‘power’ signature of the artist on their felt bases.
Ref code VR20
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