Anri Fridericus Rex Chessmen.
Offered here is one of the Rarer of the Anri Chess Sets, the Anri Fridericus Rex (Frederick II of Prussia) Chessmen, Item #718-022. This is a beautifully hand-carved and hand-painted set of chess pieces. Each of the chess pieces is magnificently hand-carved and painted. The King stands 4.7″ tall with a 1.7″ diameter base. The finely hand carved Chess pieces are crafted from alpine maple and are hand-painted and gilded, the bases are lightly weighted, and the pieces are felted. The Chessmen are housed in its original two-tray, fitted presentation case. The Anri Fridericus Rex Chessmen are in excellent condition and were produced between 1970 and 1973. Only a few of these sets were produced. The Official Anri Guide listing for these chess pieces is shown here. No chessboard is included with these chessmen, but we offer a large selection of modern and antique chessboards here. Anri chessmen are 100% made in Italy for those who can appreciate the true value of these magnificent artistic chessmen.
Frederick II (Friedrich II.; 24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) was King of Prussia from 1772 until his death in 1786. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the Silesian wars, his re-organization of the Prussian Army, the First Partition of Poland, and his patronage of the arts and the Enlightenment. Frederick was the last Hohenzollern monarch titled King in Prussia, declaring himself King of Prussia after annexing Polish Prussia from the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772. He became known as Frederick the Great and was nicknamed “Old Fritz“.
Frederick was a supporter of enlightened absolutism, stating that the ruler should be the first servant of the state. He modernized the Prussian bureaucracy and civil service and pursued religious policies throughout his realm that ranged from tolerance to segregation. He reformed the judicial system and made it possible for men of lower status to become judges and senior bureaucrats. Frederick also encouraged immigrants of various nationalities and faiths to come to Prussia, although he enacted oppressive measures against Catholics in Silesia and Polish Prussia. He supported the arts and philosophers he favored and allowed freedom of the press and literature. He is buried at Sanssouci in Potsdam. Childless, he was succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II. For a more extensive coverage of Frederick the Great, click here.
About Anri Chessmen.
In the late 19th century Alois Riffeser traveled to the major European cities to sell the wood carved figurines and toys which were bought from the farmers of the Gröden Valley located in the Dolomite region of the Alps. This area in South Tyrol was part of Austria-Hungary at the time until being annexed to Italy in 1919.
In 1912 Josef Anton Riffeser founded the ANRI Company, which he named using the first two letters of his first and last name. After World War I, where he was in a prisoner of war camp in Siberia, he formulated his plan for a woodcarving company. He created his own models which he distributed successfully, mainly in the Alpine region.
When Anton Adolf Riffeser took over in 1945, he transformed the ANRI company, adopting a more industrial model which allowed for better quality control and distribution to new markets. He was followed by Ernst Riffeser who was able to enlist the services of many well-known artists including Juan Ferràndiz, Sarah Kay and others. The ANRI company today is run by Thomas Riffeser, and still remains in the same family.
The wood art tradition has a long history in Val Gardena, Italy. The tradition of woodcarving dates back to the XVII century, when farmers started producing wood toys and utensils during the long winter season. The peasants than used to sell the items at spring markets. Part of the autonomous region Alto Adige/Southern Tyrol in Italy, the Val Gardena is known for its ancient romantic language, its skiing facilities – and its old tradition of woodcarving. The ANRI company’s chess sets from the 1950s through the 1980s were produced in this region and have gained collectors status, thanks to their unparalleled quality.
The Anri workshops are renowned all over the world because the wonderful wooden sculptures and statues made by the famous local sculptors and carvers.