Museum-exhibited chess sets featured in ZQ Art auction Dec. 8

Nineteenth-century Swiss schools of woodworkers carved high quality, detailed softwood chess sets. The open winged eagles of this pearwood set are particularly rare and impressive. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. ZQ Art Gallery image

Nineteenth-century Swiss schools of woodworkers carved high quality, detailed softwood chess sets. The open winged eagles of this pearwood set are particularly rare and impressive. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. ZQ Art Gallery image

 

NEW YORK – ZQ Art will present a sale of select chess sets from a single-owner collection on Thursday, Dec. 8. The 40-lot sale contains a variety of 19th and 20th century sets from around the world, representing diverse cultures’ fascination and love of chess. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

This collection of chess sets was exhibited in 1988 at the Staatliches Museum fur Volkerunde (now Munich’s Museum Funf Kontinente – Five Continents Museum).

The exhibition catalog published in German with a forward by the museum director illustrates many of the sets, explaining their cultural relevance and importance.

A second catalog published for the traveling exhibition contains essays and detailed descriptions by Jean-Loup Rousselot, published in German and Albanian by the Staatliches Museum. Curated from more than 6,400 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.

Featured lots are a Swiss pearwood animal and bird chess set (above) from the 19th century and a Czechoslovakian Votruba boxwood chess set (below), circa 1939-45.

 

The Votruba boxwood chess set (Czechoslovakia, circa 1939-45) depicts significant Bohemian and Moravian figures, including King Charles IV (1316-1378, Holy Roman Emperor, born Wenceslaus) and Queen Blanche of Valois. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. ZQ Art Gallery image

The Votruba boxwood chess set (Czechoslovakia, circa 1939-45) depicts significant Bohemian and Moravian figures, including King Charles IV (1316-1378, Holy Roman Emperor, born Wenceslaus) and Queen Blanche of Valois. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. ZQ Art Gallery image

 

Jan A. 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 2,714 hours it took him to carve this set that depicts significant Bohemian and Moravian figures.

For details contact ZQ Art Gallery at 917-471-3087.