Albo Capita (The Whiteheads); 32 original vintage chess pieces without board, hand-painted, seamless weighted plastic, Soviet, artistically reimagined, antiqued, c.1960-1970.
King Height: 7.5cm, weight 20g, base width 3.3cm; Queen 6.7cm wt. 18g, Bishop 6cm 14g, Knight 5cm 14g, Rook 4.5cm 14g, Pawns 3.8cm, 8g, base 2.8cm
W: Antiqued faded rose felt bases; B: same
A seamless, or ‘knit-line’ free plastic Young Pioneers chess set, reworked after an earlier bakelite version from the 1950s. The earlier version was made virtually unplayable due to the closeness in colour of the two opposing armies – a very deep maroon versus black. This bakelite scholars set was then scrapped and re-issued in a white v black plastic version, which was my blank canvas for this project (see our fb page The Chess Schach for more details).
After the seams were meticulously removed – find one and I’ll refund your purchase price! – the pieces were treated with various paint and varnish techniques, antiquing and aging along the way, Much of the finish was achieved by physically ‘rubbing’ the layers of paint, wax and antiquing oils onto the pieces, creating a layering effect that makes the final finish feel and look like it belongs in the 1950s. Not only that, but weight has also been added to the set making it feel much more in tune with the heavier bakelite pattern.
There are many versions of these ‘Scholar’ sets that were used by the Young Pioneers clubs throughout the former Soviet Union, however, The Whiteheads may be the only playable replica of the 1950s bakelite version on the planet! And what’s with the name? Well, the finials, of course. These were deep maroon v black on the original set, but antiqued white just seemed to gel with this project – and also carries a subtle hint of iridescent pearl – the signature colour for our 2023 listings.
Both kings carry the hand-painted 2023 IRIDESCENT PEARL ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases and are accompanied by our unique ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which are posted out separately, once we tally up how many pearl signature sets passed through our galleries in 2023.
Etsy Set Price: $850.00
thechessschach.com Set Price: $725.00 CDN
Ref code: AC23