Housed in a folding box which also serves as the playing board is a complete set of elephant ivory pieces. The Emperor and Empress are the largest pieces measuring and weighing 7", 261 kg and 6.75", 194 kg respectively. Each of the pieces has clothing that is engraved and blackened to heighten the decoration except the bishops and rooks. Castle style mounts sit atop each elephant which serves as the rook, while a figure rides astride a sculpted horse serving as the knights. Each pawn is a different figure of either a man or woman and the bishops are presented as scholars. The opposing teams set is ivory as well and is stained brown for contrast and easy identification while the pieces are in play.
A similarly designed set Ca 1710 is included in the furniture from the salon of Prince Eugene of Savoy and housed in the collection in Vienna, Austria.
Weight: 21 lbs
Dimensions: 16 inch H, 36 inch W, 20 inch D
Material: Ivory, wood
Period: C. 1930
Provenance: FL estate
Size of Artwork: 6 x 28 x 14"
Condition: White King is missing his halberd, elastic holding pieces in place is stretched.
History: The history of chess can be traced back nearly 1500 years, although the earliest origins are uncertain. The earliest predecessor of the game probably originated in India, before the 6th century AD; a minority of historians believe the game originated in China. From India, the game spread to Persia. When the Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently spread to Southern Europe. In Europe, chess evolved into roughly its current form in the 15th century. The "Romantic Era of Chess" was the predominant chess playing style down to the 1880s. It was characterized by swashbuckling attacks, clever combinations, brash piece sacrifices and dynamic games. Winning was secondary to winning with style. These games were focused more on artistic expression, rather than technical mastery or long-term planning. The Romantic era of play was followed by the Scientific, Hypermodern, and New Dynamism eras. In the second half of the 19th century, modern chess tournament play began, and the first World Chess Championship was held in 1886. The 20th century saw great leaps forward in chess theory and the establishment of the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Developments in the 21st century include use of computers for analysis, which originated in the 1970s with the first programmed chess games on the market. Online gaming appeared in the mid-1990s. Chess remains a highly popular pastime among the general populace. A 2012 survey found that "chess players now make up one of the largest communities in the world: 605 million adults play chess regularly". Chess is played at least once a year by 12% British people; 15% Americans. 23% Germans; 43% Russians; and 70% Indian people.