German Selenus Gold and Silver Gilt Metal Chessmen.
Offered here is modern reproduction of an elegant set of cast German Selenus Metal Chessmen in Gold and Silver Gilt. These magnificent chess pieces are inspired by the more elaborate Selenus chessmen from the mid 18th Century as shown in the image on the right. The King stands 4-1/4″ tall with a 1-0″ diameter base. The Pieces and Pawns are fashioned as representations of their rank balanced atop very delicate pierced galleries. The headpieces of each of the Kings and Queens aret royal crowns The bishop sports the Jester’s headpiece (Le Fou), while the Knights are more traditional horse heads. The Rooks are rather intricate Renaissances Towers. The chess pieces are housed in a fitted wooden case with a padded black velvet lined lid, marked “Firenze” in gold print. That might indicated that the set was produced exclusively for a higher-end retail shop in Florence, Italy. This set of chessmen date to the 20th century. The chessmen are in as new condition. The chessmen deserve to be displayed on a premium chessboard with at least 2-1/4″ or 2-3/8″ squares for optimum visibility. For our extensive selection of antique, traditional and unique chessboards, please click here.
The Selenus design is a style of chess set in use before the standardization of chess pieces that happened after the Staunton chess set was launched in 1849 by games manufacturer John Jaques of London. The Selenus sets were typical of sets produced in Denmark, Austria and Germany. They are named after Gustavus Selenus, the pen name of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg Selenus was the author of the Chess or the King’s Game (German: Das Schach- oder Königsspiel), an important chess manual published in the 17th century. The standard included delicate lathe turned bases and shafts and tiers with circlets resembling crowns or Crow’s Nests. For this reason, Selenus style chessmen are often referred to as “Crow’s Nest” chessmen. The ranks of the Pieces were distinguished by heights, the number of tiers and sometimes by symbols.