The game of chess, having its origins in the Asian content, has spread far and wide over the years to Europe, Asia, and Americas, has got in an increasing base of players addicted to this mentally stimulating game from around the globe. Hence, it was only a matter of time that some designer took notice of the chess sets, and gave it their alteration like Geoffrey Parker’s chess sets, Barbara Kruger’s chess set, and the scented chess set which appeared at a Bonham’s auction a couple of years back. Now, a series of the finest chess sets are set to go under the hammer at the Style & Spirit Auction by Christie’s in London, including a set by Man Ray. The event will be held on the 26th March this year, when the World Chess Candidates Tournament takes place in London.
The Man Ray chess to go on sale will include, this particular one (pictured above), whose design came into conception in the 1920s, by Man Ray, a known leader of Dada and Surrealist movements of art. Ray’s idea was to convert the traditional chess set into something surreal and rather abstract from what is generally known. It is therefore, according to him, that such a chess set would indeed be the desire of someone who takes to unconventionality. At the auction, this set is stated to bring in anything between $14,974-22,461(£10,000-15,000).
However, the most premium offering at the sale is a 19th century ivory carved chess set, with its origins in Behrampore, near Kolkata, India. During the British rule in the country, the town was established as a barrack by the regime then, and craftsmen from Delhi were involved in crafting this ivory masterpiece. The auction estimate for this set is in the region of $22,461 and 29,948 (£15,000-20,000).
UPDATE: The Man Ray chess set, numbered three in a limited edition of 10, sold for $49,300, more than double its high estimate of $22,461.