About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Monday, February 15, 2016

O is for Ostentatious

A friend of my Mother's was up at Southeby's for a lecture the other week and they (the attendees) were invited to view the forthcoming action while they were there, Helen kindly thought of me and took these shots of a rather over-the-top chess set.

There is a history of chess sets linked to toy soldiers...well it's obvious isn't it, once you have a range of figures there is an almost natural thought-progression to making them into two sets of 16 and lining them up on a Victorian kitchen floor!

But a bespoke set is a different matter, and while the section on the subject in Garratt's encylopedia is well worth the read and we all know about the sets made by Crescent and Britains and so on, or the sets designed by Stadden, this is in a different league!

Silver, silver-gilt, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, enamel, suede, fine engraving upon engraving...but piled-up. Do the bases need extra stones, more tooling, another line of enamel? It's like they couldn't stop themselves!

More pictures here, but a final hamer price of £17,000+ when things of rareity and beauty sell for much more these days would suggest the buyers found it a bit OTT as well?

The base is too busy, the four corner knights confusing...not that playing light blue against dark blue is going to make forward planning easy, especially when all the royalty are in red! A lovely thing for the blog, but leave it to new-money...this needs a marble sample-table in a footballer's Geoff's Oak mansion really...he says - judgementally!


Jan Ferris said...

Ah, I would take great pleasure in playing a round or two with this set. An elegant set for an elegant game.

Hugh Walter said...

One man's elegance is another man's overblown ostentation Jan! But I wouldn't refuse it in a crisis!