Charles Martel Commemorative Chess Set
Offered here is the original Charles Martel Commemorative Chess Set, a rare early Medieval Brutalist design. This Vintage Chess Set is truly a unique, collectible piece of art. The chess pieces were designed by Charles Martel and brought to life by renowned painter and sculptor Richard L. Synek in his Manhattan foundry. The underside of the bases shows a copyright date of 1965. It was originally created as a dedication to the élan of Charles Martel, prince of the Franks, who defeated the Moslems at Tours, 732 AD. The Pieces are hand cast of solid metal, with bronze and nickel for the contrasting sides. They have a rustic surface and a heavy feel. The set is housed in an oak box with a hammered copper playing board, embossed with Greek crosses and other geometric patterns, affixed to lid. The box opens to reveal a burgundy velvet lined fitted interior housing thirty-two bronze and nickel-plated chess pieces. The chessmen range in size from 2″ to 4 1/8″ H. The chessboard/storage box measures 2 3/8″ by 16 1/2″ square. The chess set dates to the second half 20th century. Overall, the set is in very good condition with surface scratches to wooden box consistent with age and shelf storage.
The Charles Martel Commemorative chess set, rife with medieval symbolism, was dedicated to Charles Martel, a nobleman who held the position of Mayor of the Palace, an officer of the king’s court and an experienced warrior of the Franks (French) He is renowned for having defeated the invading Saracens in the battle of Tours and Poitier in southern France, in October of 732A.D.*Having defeated the Saracens, Charles Martel was considered the great champion of Christianity and to the day of his death in 741A.D. he was in reality, though not in name, the king of the Franks.*excerpts taken from “Famous Men of the Middle Ages “
About Richard Synek
SYNEK-Richard L. Native of NYC, passed away on August 20, 2014 in Clearwater, FL. A pioneer of sail sculpture, he is well known for his work in oil painting & metals, including renowned chess sets which he produced in his Manhattan foundry.