Lot #V031. Medicus Mammoth Ivory Chessmen


Medicus Mammoth Ivory Chessmen.

Offered here is a most original and captivating set of figural chessmen, the beautifully hand-carved Michelangelo Mammoth Ivory Chessmen, signed by the sculptor. The chess pieces are Crafted from 20,000-year-old natural and polished Woolly Mammoth tusk and are surmounted atop contrasting wooden plinths. The dark army bases are crafted from Bokaut, a dense, exotic wood indigenous to Russia and East Asia. A statuesque set of chess pieces, it features a 6-0″ King with figures mounted on a 1-3/4″ square plinth. The workmanship and detail found in each of these sculptures is breathtaking. The Chess pieces are hand carved and signed “Raikis 03” by crafted by renowned Mammoth artist and sculptor Oleg Raikis. Raikis’ chess carvings are internationally recognized and are highly prized and sought-after by chess collectors Worldwide. This set was custom created with the work stretching over about to a year to complete. Mammoth tusk is a naturally dense material, so the chess pieces do not require additional weighting.

The Michelangelo Mammoth Ivory Chessmen consist of 32 pieces. and are in new condition. The chess pieces play and display best on a chessboard with 3-0″ to 3-1/4″ squares. For our extensive selection of modern and antique chessboards please visit here.

Modern depiction of the caduceus as the symbol of logistics

Hermes Ingenui carrying a winged caduceus upright in his left hand. A Roman copy after a Greek original of the 5th century BCE (Museo Pio-Clementino, Rome).

The caduceus (☤; /kəˈdjʃəs, siəs/; Latin: cādūceus, from Greek: κηρύκειον kērū́keion “herald’s wand, or staff”) is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology and consequently by Hermes Trismegistus in Greco-Egyptian mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography, it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods.

Some accounts suggest that the oldest known imagery of the caduceus has its roots in Mesopotamia with the Sumerian god Ningishzida; whose symbol, a staff with two snakes intertwined around it, dates back to 4000 BC to 3000 BC.

As a symbolic object, it represents Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations, or undertakings associated with the god. In later Antiquity, the caduceus provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury. Thus, through its use in astrology, alchemy, and astronomy it has come to denote the planet and elemental metal of the same name. It is said the wand would wake the sleeping and send the awake to sleep. If applied to the dying, their death was gentle; if applied to the dead, they returned to life.

By extension of its association with Mercury and Hermes, the caduceus is also a recognized symbol of commerce and negotiation, two realms in which balanced exchange and reciprocity are recognized as ideals. This association is ancient, and consistent from the Classical period to modern times. The caduceus is also used as a symbol representing printing, again by extension of the attributes of Mercury (in this case associated with writing and eloquence).

Although the Rod of Asclepius is the traditional and more widely used symbol of medicine, which has only one snake and is never depicted with wings, the Caduceus is sometimes used by healthcare organizations. Given that the caduceus is primarily a symbol of commerce and other non-medical symbology, many health-care professionals disapprove of this usage.

 History Of The Chess Pieces.

The Mammoth byproducts are excavated from the permafrost of the Siberian tundra, which the woolly mammoth inhabited for more than 160,000 years. During the last ice age, the mammoth went extinct as the direct result of rapidly plummeting temperatures. The dry, cold environment of Siberia combined with the massive sheets of ice from the ice age created the ideal environment for the preservation of Mammoth byproducts. The woolly Mammoths have been entombed under the Siberian permafrost ever since, waiting to be unearthed.

For more than 2,000 years, Mammoth tusks have been traded and remain a highly prized commodity across the world. While that demand for the Mammoth byproducts has always been higher than its supply, it began its steep rise when the international ivory ban was enacted. This agreement banned all sales of new Elephant or Walrus Ivory, in an effort to protect the animals from extinction. As a result, Mammoth became the only type of animal-based ivory that is exempt from the international trade restrictions. Over the past few years, the price of Mammoth tusks have more than tripled, due largely to the unprecedented demand for luxury goods from such emerging countries as India and China. This trend is expected to continue. Less than one percent of the Mammoth byproducts harvested are of suitable quality for the manufacturing of Chess pieces, thus adding the production costs and long-term value.

About the Sculptor.

Oleg Raikis has a strong affinity with chess, having been an ambitious tournament player in his youth. His love for the game is now an inspiration for his art. Aside from his sculptures, Oleg has designed and created many chess sets. They combine the creative imaginative skill of a master craftsman with the understanding of the practical requirements needed for a set of chessmen to be acceptable as an efficient tool for an ancient Royal game.  Oleg Raikis’ impressive sculptures, carved from hard woods and mammoth ivory, were displayed in the international exhibition, ‘Sculptor 1991’. Since then his work has been constantly on show, including exhibiting in Galleries in Germany, Britain and the States.  Oleg is a member of Russian Federation of Artists, International Federation of Art and Chess Collectors International.

Oleg’s artistic and practical chess sets, have been much admired within the international chess collector community, where they take a proud place in collections in Russia, the USA. Canada, Germany, Italy, Finland, Netherlands, and England. You are not likely to see contemporary chess set designs equal to the work of Oleg Raikis.

Additional information

Weight18 lbs
Dimensions16 × 14 × 12 in

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