Et Caesari (The Tzars); 32 weighted chessmen without board, wood, light brown w/ gold accent v. chestnut red w/ bronze accent, lightly distressed and antiqued, recarved/recreated from a recent Old Set reproduction of a Tzarist era chess set based on photographs of the original pieces.
Height: King 11.5cm, wt 22g, base diameter 3.5cm; Queen 10cm 20g, Bishop 8.5cm 18g, Knight 8.5cm 18g, Rook 8.5cm 26g, Pawn 6cm 13g
W: red felt bases B: same
This is only the second ‘reinterpretation’ of a modern reproduction that I have taken on this year – as I’m a fussy old fellow! The first was the ‘Toro Bravo’ set that has since found a new home with an astute collector just south of the border in New Jersey. In this instance, however, the original reproduction was turned and carved by my friend and fellow Etsy shop owner, the well-respected artisan, Andrew of OldSet, whom I purchased the set off some time ago; mainly with the aim of playing through the games of the glorious gambiteer, Mikhail Chigorin, because like many collectors, I quite enjoy coordinating sets with the nationality and era of the master I’m studying, as chances are, they often handled pieces of a very similar style and pattern themselves. This goal I achieved, but my only ‘pet irk’ with Andrew’s reproduction (and this is a general ‘irk’ of mine with any new set) is that they just look too damned new! Like Chigorin’s wild and imaginative combinations, my imagination was going wild, too! A bold decision had to be made.
At first I was a little hesitant to embark on the project as I didn’t (in any way whatsoever) wish to disrespect a fellow artist’s wonderful craftsmanship by attempting to ‘improve’ on his work. And after contacting Andrew about my concerns and happily receiving his best wishes for the project I went ahead and don’t believe I have detracted from his meticulous recreation at all. In fact, I like to think that the original pieces have simply been ‘elevated’ (as my wife, Angie, likes to call my ‘tinkerings’) to how my mind imagined them, inspired by other contemporary sets I have pored over from this era, aged sets, weathered, boasting of a few ‘battle-scars’ here and there and oftentimes subtly decorated with hints of precious metals, all of which I have endeavoured to recapture in this chess set, aptly named The Tzars.
The result being a tale of two artists, if you like, and one that will provide many hours of amusement for many years to come – hopefully enjoyed by your very good self and your future friends and family, too.
The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual play. Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent silver ‘power’ signature of the artist on their bases.
Set Price: $950.00
SET OF THE MONTH PRICE: $810
Ref code EC20
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