Ganine Sculptured Gothic Chess

Lot #565. Ganine Sculptured Gothic Chess Pieces

Ganine Sculptured Gothic Chess Pieces.

Offered here are the Peter Ganine Sculptured Gothic Chess pieces, Salon Edition. The glossy Black and Ivory plastic chessmen are weighted and rest atop felt cushions. The King height is 3.6″ with a 1.2″ diameter base. The quality of the Ganine Sculptured Gothic Chess Pieces are excellent and the castings are seamless. The chessmen lack their original cardboard chessboard and display box. The “Gothic” set came in two versions: the Salon Edition and the Tournament Edition. The Salon Edition was the smaller of the two. The Tournament Edition is larger with the King standing 4.5″ tall. The chessmen were manufactured by the Pacific Game Company, North Hollywood, California. The pieces are stamped “1957” and are Copyright, 1957 by Peter Ganine.

Peter Ganine (October 11, 1900 – August 11, 1974) was a Russian-American sculptor best known for his work in ceramics and his chess sets. He began his art studies in Russia. He spent five years as a trader in the Belgian Congo before coming to the US in 1931, on a scholarship to Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He settled in Hollywood in 1932, where he lived until his death.

The subjects of Ganine’s sculptures were largely people or animals. He patented many of his animal sculptures, which were then reproduced in plastic and sold inexpensively. His most popular designs were a whale, which won a prize from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, and an “uncapsizeable duck”, of which over 50,000,000 were sold. When Ganine gave human faces to chess pieces, he introduced “first major change of design for chess sets in more than a century.”  Reference:

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