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Auction Description for ZQ Art & Auction: Collection of Important Museum Exhibited 19th and 20th Century Chess Sets
Auction Description:
As its first Invaluable auction, ZQ Art is pleased to present a sale of select sets from a single-owner collection.   This private collection of chess sets was exhibited in 1988 at the Staatliches Museum fur Volkerunde (established in 1862, now Munich's Museum Funf Kontinente - Five Conitinets Museum) and traveled to Albania. Museum catalog Chess: Art History and Culture published in German with a forward by the museum director illustartes many of the sets, explaining their cultural relevance and importance. Traveling exhibition catalog with essays and detailed descriptions by Jean-Loup Rousselot published in German and Albanian by the Staatliches Museum. Curated from more than 6400 chess pieces, the exhibition highlights the history of the game while featuring many of the most historically significant chess sets, many of which are one of a kind.           The following lots are illustrated in the Staatliches Museum traveling exhibiton catalog: 10, 15, 22, 36  Lots illustrated in the Staatliches Museum exhibition catatlog featuring 157 sets: 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, 39 

Collection of Important Museum Exhibited 19th and 20th Century Chess Sets (39 Lots)

by ZQ Art & Auction


39 lots with images

December 8, 2016

Live Auction

New York, NY, USA

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Rare Snap Button Traveling Chess Set, 19th Century (Likely Jaques, London)

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Description: Rare Snap Button Traveling Chess Set, 19th Century (Likely Jaques, London), with folding leather case and metal pieces. Case is 23 x 10 cm (folded) While most travel sets from the mid-19th century on are comprised of either peg pieces that fit into holes on the board or flat cardboard disks, this set is particularly rare in that the pieces are buttons that snap onto the board. Larger "stud" flat pieces resembling buttons do appear in the early 20th century, but again these fit into holes on the board.

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Folding Pocket Combined Chess & Draughts Set , 1880's, De La Rue & Co with Corbould's Pieces

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Description: Folding Pocket Combined Chess & Draughts Set , 1880's, De La Rue & Co with Corbould's Pieces comprised of flat cardboard disks. Earliest British pocket sets are recorded from 1832. Sets designed by Dr Peter Mark Roget ("Roget's Thesaurus") date to 1845 and were the first widely marketed ones by De La Rue in 1846. This combined folding set was the first by De La Rue advertised to continental European players in 1885. The pieces are designed by the artist Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905) Case is 17.75 x 12.75 cm (folded)

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English Game Board Box, 19th Century

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Description: Exterior walnut and maple inlaid squares for chess, with backgammon burl-background interior including stars and points. 18 1/8 long x 9 in wide x 1 1/4 in. high (when closed) Provenance: Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, July 14, 1981, Lot 301

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English Game Board Box, 19th Century

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Description: Fruit-wood inlaid exterior for chess, with backgammon interior of alternating strips of striated-grain light and dark wood. 20 3/4 long x 10 1/2 wide x 3 1/4 in high (when closed) Provenance: Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, July 14, 1981, Lot 301

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Chinese (Canton/Guangzhou) Games Board, Early 19th Century

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Description: Folding board box with black and gilt lacquer exterior for playing chess, and alternating red and gilt point backgammon interior. Scalloped outer corners and extensively decorated borders with scenes of Chinese Life. 19 1/2 long x 10 3/4 wide x 3 1/8 in high (when closed) Provenance: Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, July 14, 1981, Lot 301

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Japanese Polychromed Wood Chess Set, 19th Century (12 Figures)

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Description: Japanese Polychromed Wood Chess Set, 19th Century, with figures in green and red ceremonial dress. These are 12 Figures ranging in height from 17.7 to 14.7 cm (8 to 5/34 in). Provenance: Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, Sale 4666Y, July 14, 1981, Lot 301

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A Cast Lead British 'Rose' Chess Set, 1942, Staunton Pattern

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Description: A Cast Lead British 'Rose' Chess Set, 1942, Staunton Pattern, one side painted in red, the other side painted in black. King is 5 cm and Pawn 2.7 cm high Provenance: Bloomsbury Auctions, Fine Chess Sets and Traditional Games, Thursday 3rd November 2005, Lot 181.

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Danish Cast Bronze Figural Chess Set by Carl Hansen, Circa 1875

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Description: Danish Cast Bronze Figural Chess Set by Carl Hansen, Circa 1875 One side silvered and the other oxidized, the kings holding pots of beer, the queens with bustle skirts, bishops as jockeys, knights as donkeys, rooks as figures on turrets, fitted in a wood presentation box with sliding lid. King is 7cm and Pawn 4.7cm high

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Brass & Bronze Ottoman Chess Set, Circa Late 19th Century (Turkish)

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Description: Brass & Bronze Ottoman Chess Set, Circa Late 19th Century (Turkish), kings in crowned hats, viziers as queens in striped fez hats, bishops as elephants, knights as horses, rooks as turrets, and pawns with Janissary hats. King is 6.5 cm and Pawn 4.5 cm high

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Circa 1870

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Description: German Part Bronze Chess Set, circa 1870 "The Prince Imperial's War Game", in light and dark bronze with cavalry and rifle-wielding infantry on varying sized bases, the rooks as cannons. King is 7.8 cm (3 in) and Pawn 4.7 cm (1 7/8 in) high Provenance: Sotheby's New York "American, Continental and English Silver, Portrait Miniatures and Chess Sets", July 14, 1981, lot 322. A copy of original receipt will be provided. Note: This set is unusual in that it consists of 41 pieces. Accompanying the traditional 32 pieces there are 3 additional pawns and 6 additional rooks.

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Rome vs. Egypt Chess Set Designed by Giuseppe Vasari, Milan, Italy

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Description: Rome (gold) vs. Egypt (silver) Chess Set Designed by Giuseppe Vasari, Milan, Italy (1978). High quality metal workmanship with gold-colored gilding and white metal bases. King is 10.5, Silver Pawn 8.9 and Gold Pawn 7.9 cm high Artist: Giuseppe Vasari (Italain, 1934-2005)

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A Silver-Colored Metal Figural Chess Set, Indian 20th Century

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Description: A Silver-Colored Metal Figural Chess Set, Indian 20th Century, one side with faint gilding, kings and queens on elephants with howdahs (seats), bishops as camels, knights as horsemen, rooks as elephants, and pawns as foot soldiers. King is 6cm and Pawn is 3.5 cm high Provenance: Cooper Owen, London, November 4, 2002, Lot 148

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Southeast Asian Metal Chess Set, Late 19th Century

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Description: Southeast Asian Metal Chess Set, Late 19th Century. Kings and Queens with distinctive hats, musical Bishops, Knights as elephants, Rooks as cenotaphs, and Pawns alternately in stretch balance mode legs slightly akimbo or one knee up ready to spring into action. King is approximately 9.5 cm high.

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Israeli Silver and Metal Gilt Chess Set, Second Half of 20th Century

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Description: Israeli Silver and Metal Gilt Chess Set, Second Half of 20th Century, with mounted coral and turquoise. King is 7.9 cm and Pawn 4.1 cm high Yemenite jewelers and silversmiths who emigrated to Israel in the 1960s and 70s combined their skills with Staunton chess shapes. For further reference see Victor Keats, The Illustrated Guide to World Chess Sets, Batsford Ltd 1985, page 198, plate 228 and A.E.J. Mackett-Beeson, Chessman, Octopus Books 1973, page 62, plate 68.

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Yellow and Red-Brown Baltic Amber Chess Set with Box, German, Circa 1920

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Description: Yellow and Red-Brown Baltic Amber Chess Set with Box, German, Circa 1920, figures feature Medieval royal couples and the bishops are in the form of sculpted busts whose facial features are visible. Ornamented board is carved with floral motifs and decorated with three amber portraits. King is 3.9cm and Pawn 2.1cm high Box is 16 x 16 x 5 cm Note that the board is missing a white square.

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Swedish Folk Art Painted Wood Chess Set With Box (Circa 1920-40)

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Description: Swedish Folk Art Painted Wood Chess Set With Box (Circa 1920-40), the kings are Gustav V of Sweden versus Christian X of Denmark, with their respective queens Victoria of Baden and Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The bishops and pawns represent Swedish and Danish football (soccer) players. King is 8.6cm and Pawn 4.7cm high Box: 18.5 x 9.2 x 7.8 cm

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Czechoslovakian Carved Wood Chess Set, Late 19th Century

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Description: Czechoslovakian Carved Wood Chess Set, Late 19th Century, in natural and black-stained carved wood Medieval style long-haired kings and queens wearing crowns, the bishops as hunters with rifles, the knights as squatting horses on their hind legs, the rooks as towers, and the pawns as helmeted figures. King is 20.1 cm (8 in) and Pawn 12.9 cm (5 in) high Provenance: Sotheby's New York "American, Continental and English Silver, Portrait Miniatures and Chess Sets", July 14, 1981, lot 319.

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Ida Bagus Tillem Carved Wooden

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Description: A large-sized carved wooden "Deity" Ramayana Chess Set by Ida Bagus Tillem, Bali, 20th Century, one side carved from a darker hardwood, the other side carved from a lighter colored wood. Chessmen of various deities, idols and demons, featuring Balinese dance and drama and the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. King is 16.5 cm and Pawn 8 cm high Provenance: Purchased in 1979 directly from the artist. Copy of original invoice included.

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South German Selenus Carved Fruit Wood Chess Set, 19th Century

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Description: South German Selenus Carved Fruit Wood Chess Set, 19th Century Typical regional round design, thin disks, balconies as crows nest. King is 11 cm and Pawn 6.2 cm high

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A Swiss Pearwood Animal and Bird Chess Set, 19th Century

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Description: A Swiss Pearwood Animal and Bird Chess Set, 19th Century, finely carved from light and dark wood. King: 7.3cm A similar set is illustrated in "Chessman" by Mackett Beeson, G.P. Putnam's Sons, page 110. Swiss nineteenth-century carvers produced high quality, detailed softwood chess sets. While craftsmen in the wood industry would carve sets, schools of carvers would work on the finest of them. Birds and animals were a regular theme, with "Bears of Bern" the most popular. The open winged eagles of this set are particularly rare and impressive.

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A

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Description: A "Coffee House" Boxwood Chess Set, Austria, Circa 1840, one side stained black, the other side white, kings and queens with domed or egg shaped tops, bishops with alternate colored caps, knights as horses' heads, rooks as raised turrets, pawns with ball finials, with a painted wooden board. King is 6 cm and Pawn 3.25 cm high Board is 31 3/4 x 31 3/4 cm Provenance: South Bay Auctions

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Nigerian Softwood Chess Set With Box by J. P. Akeredolu, African, Mid-20th Century

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Description: Nigerian Softwood Chess Set With Box, African, Mid-20th Century by J.P. Akeredolu The kings as seated tribal chiefs wearing turbans and holding staffs, the queens with elaborate hairstyles, the bishops as tribal elders, the knights holding rifles, the rooks as thatched huts and the pawns as seated tribesmen King is 9.3cm and Pawn 4.5cm high Artist: J.D Akeredolu (Nigeria/Owo, b.1915-) a renowned wood sculptor who studied at the Owo Govenment School where, while maintaining a personal studio, he subsequently taught.

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African Ebony Wood Makonde Tribal Chess Set, Tanzania, 20th Century

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Description: African Ebony Wood Makonde Tribal Chess Set, Tanzania, 20th Century, kings and queens with earrings wear high layered head dresses, bishops with flat hats, giraffes as knights, rooks as traditional round huts on stands, and pawns with shorter layered head dresses. King is 9.1 cm, Brown Pawn 5.1 and Black Pawn 4.1 cm high

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An East German Porcelain Figural 'Frog vs Mice' Chess Set, 20th Century

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Description: An East German Porcelain Figural 'Frog vs Mice' Chess Set, 20th Century One side gold base frogs, the other side black base mice, kings

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A Bassano Ceramic 'Animal' Chess Set, Italian, 20th Century

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Description: A Bassano Ceramic 'Animal' Chess Set, Italian 20th Century (Bassano del Grappa, edition of 200), with kings as lions, queens as lionesses, bishops as spotted leopards, knights as zebras, rooks as elephants with raised trunks, and pawns as monkeys in various poses. King is 14 cm and Pawn 8.8 cm high

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A Royal Dux Porcelain Figural Chess Set, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, Mid 20th Century

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Description: A Royal Dux Porcelain Figural Chess Set, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, Mid 20th Century with one side predominantly blue, the other with gild highlights, kings holding swords, queens wearing head dresses, bishops with helmets and mantles, knights as rearing horses, rooks as elephants, and pawns holding daggers. Signed on base. King is 11.5cm and Pawn 8.5cm high

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Early 20th Century Porcelain Figural Chess Set, German

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Description: A Porcelain Figural Set, glazed white and brown, the pieces are in mediaeval costume (German, Early 20th Century). King is 8 cm and Pawn 5 cm high Provenance: Philipps, London, June 6, 1988, Lot 85

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French Porcelain Chess Set, Robert Block, Paris, 1939

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Description: French Porcelain Chess Set Designed by Robert Bloch, Porcelaine de Paris, 1939, in black and white and white and black with gilding. The figures are adapted from the Lewis medieval chess men including seated kings and queens, knights on horseback carrying shields, rooks as towers, and the pawns as infantry with shields. King is 7.6 cm (3 in) and Pawn 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in) high

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A Meissen 'Moors Versus Turks' Chess Set, German, 20th Century, after a design by Johann Kaendler

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Description: A Meissen 'Moors Versus Turks' Chess Set, German, 20th Century, after a design by Johann Kaendler, incised numerals and pressnumern King is 7.2cm and Pawn 5.6cm high A Meissen Porcelain Figural "Moors Versus Turks" Chess Set, after a design by Johann Kaendler, German, 20th Century, one side Turks, the other side Moors, the chessmen on circular bases with gilt, Turkish king wearing a turban or headdress, Turkish queen wearing a gilded crown, Turkish bishops wearing yellow coats and brandishing dandy canes, Turkish knights as horsemen, again wearing turbans, rooks as elephants bearing howdahs and turrets, Turkish pawns in lilac coats with yellow cloaks; Moorish kings in blue with turbans, queens wearing a red cloak, Moorish bishops in red with dandy canes, Moorish knights as horsemen, Moorish rooks as elephants with howdahs and turrets, Moorish pawns in blue with turbas. Each piece with Meissen crossed swords mark underglazed in blue and registration number.

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Jan A. Votruba Boxwood Chess Set (Czechoslovakia, circa 1939-45)

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Description: Jan A. Votruba Boxwood Chess Set (Czechoslovakia, circa 1939-45) Votruba was a member of the national orchestra in Prague as well as an avid chess player. Through the duration of World War II he documented the 2714 hours it took him to carve this set. He chose to depict historically and culturally significant Bohemian and Moravian figures. Celebrating the 700th anniversary of his birth, on the brown side wearing golden crowns is King Charles IV (1316-1378, Holy Roman Emperor, born Wenceslaus) with Queen Blanche of Valois. Pawns with shields represent the Sternberk, Rozmberk, Talmberk, Svamberk, Trocnov, Polzice, Miletin, and Velhartice families. Bishops are from the towns of Kunstat and Boskovice. On the black side is the Hussite King George of Kunstat and Podebrady (1420-1471) with Queen Kunhuta of Sternberg. Pawns with shields represent the Selmberk, Cimburk, Roupov, Jenstejn, Pernstejn, Hodejov, Valejov, and Lichtenburk families. Bishops are from Hazmburk and Ricany. King is 11.5cm and Pawn 8cm high

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19th Century Victorian Boxwood and Ebony Weighted Staunton Chess Set by 'Jaques, London,' Circa 1870-1880

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Description: 19th Century Victorian Boxwood and Ebony Weighted Staunton Chess Set by 'Jaques, London,' Circa 1870-1880, each king has impressed on base in red 'Jaques, London' and one knight and one rook on each side with stamped crown stained red. King is 8.9 cm and Pawn 4.8 cm high

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Kachina Dolls Hopi Chess Set, Second Half of the 20th Century

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Description: Kachina Dolls Hopi Chess Set, Second Half of the 20th Century, of carved painted cottonwood with feathers, depicting spirit figures (American Indian/Arizona). Blue-footed King with horn head-dress is 16 cm and corresponding Pawn 9 cm high; Multicolor King is 14 cm and corresponding Pawn 7.5 cm high

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Cars and Red Cross Plastic and Metal Chess Set, German, Second Half of the 20th Century

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Description: Cars and Red Cross Plastic and Metal Chess Set, German, by designer and artist Alfred Bradler (Austrian/ b. 1942), Second Half of the 20th Century, each King in an open coupe Jaguar, Queens alternately in an XJ6 and XJ12 Jaguar, Bishops are Porsche cars, Knights comprised of Fiat Fiorino, Red-Cross Towers are Fiat 242s, White and Red Pawns are alternately VW land and dune buggies. Bradler’s set is a conceptual art work assembled from toy cars he collected in the late 1970s and early 80s (circa 1982).

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James Bond Metal Chess Set, USA, Circa 1980s

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Description: James Bond Metal Chess Set, USA, Circa 1980s, with James Bond as king in tuxedo with drawn revolver, Miss Moneypenny as queen with book under her arm, "M" as bishop with whistle, knight with briefcase is Felix Leiter, "Q" is the tower, and the pawns are Honeychild from the film Dr. No. versus Golden Boy as king, the queen from Octopussy, bishop from Dr.No, the knight is Odd Job from Gold Finger, the tower is Pink Sticks from Russia with Love, and Gold Finger represents the pawns. King is 3.8 cm and Pawn 3.55 cm high

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Coca-Cola Brand Chess Set, Ceramic and Metal, 1988

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Description: Coca-Cola Brand Chess Set, Ceramic and Metal, 1988, rooks represented by umbrellas evoke the sun and heat of summer, while the soda bottles offer the promise of refreshment in this fun set produced by The Coca-Cola Company. In it, Coca-Cola opposes Coca-Cola Light (Diet Coke), launched in the US on July 9, 1982. King is 3 15/16 in high

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Alice in Wonderland Chess Set, Dyed Plastic, USA or UK, Second Half of the 20th Century

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Description: Alice in Wonderland Chess Set, Dyed Plastic, USA or UK, Second Half of the 20th Century, each of the 32 original figures are featured as a person or animal from the novel. The king of hearts is the king, Alice the queen, castles are tweedledum and tweedledee, and the pawns are white rabbits. King is 8.7 cm, Queen 9.3 cm and Pawn 5.5 cm high Design based on the original set of terra cotta figurines designed by Claire Stewart, under the pseudonym of Soraga Baru, and manufactured in the US. Following that, the design was used for ceramic figures made on the British Isle of Man.

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Alcoa Mid-Century Modern Aluminum Chess Set with Original Presentation Box

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Description: Alcoa Mid-Century Modern Aluminum Chess Set with Original Presentation Box Designed by Austin Cox, each milled aluminum piece is stamped "Austin Enterprises 1962," the original year these sets were released by Alcoa as gifts to their VIP customers. Black side is partially anodized with a natural front finish and White is natural aluminum bar. King is 17.7 cm and Pawn 9.5 cm high Walnut Veneer Box with sliding Plexiglass Front is 15.7 cm high x 70 cm wide x 6.5 cm deep

Condition Report: Some frittering on back lower left corner of box

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Carved Wood Set (Likely Austrian/Czech/Slovak), Mid-19th Century

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Description: Carved Wood Set (Likely Austrian/Czech/Slovak), MId-19th Century While the towers are reminiscent of Dieppe French figures, the bishops are in a 19th Century Central European style with exposed peaks that rise from a diagonal cut. The pieces, while intact and with original patina, have signs of age of a well-played set.

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Heinz Engler (1928-1986) Porcelain Chess Set, 1981, Germany, Bauscher Weiden

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Description: Heinz Engler (1928-1986) Porcelain Chess Set, 1981, Germany, number 100 of 1000, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauscher Weiden Company. Engler is known for his ergonomic minimalist stylized forms, particularly apparent in the elephants of this set.

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