Mid-15th Century Italian Bone Chessmen Reproduction
Offered here is a reproduction of a rather famous set of Mid-15th Century Italian Bone Chessmen. The tallest piece stands 4-0” tall with a 1-1/4″ diameter base. The chess pieces are crafted from natural and brown-stained bone. The most striking features of this set are the Rooks and the French Rѐgence-style Bishops’ headpieces. The chess pieces are an accurate reproduction of the famous set designed by Italian turner and carver Baldassarre Embriachi and illustrated in The Art of Chess by Colleen Schafroth. The exact age of this set of chess pieces are not known, but most likely late 20th century. The chessboard shown here is not included, but a suitable board is available elsewhere on this site.
Many theories have been brought forward as to the origin of elaborate Rook design or what it represents. The particular Rook design has been associated with the Mythical Phoenix. Many different theories have been brought forward on the genesis of this design. The rather abstract, nonfigurative design resembles, in many ways, Islamic chess pieces. This style of chessmen probably pre-dates the advent of the modern game of chess. It was referred to as the New Chess, as well as Chess of the Mad Queen. With the enhances powers of the Queen and Bishop, the game gained in popularity and the new game spread like wildfire throughout Europe. Within one generation the game which had endured centuries and had covered half of the known world was eclipsed in most of Europe by the new game. The old game became a relic, an anachronism remembered by monks and academics — those who clung to the old chess literature which was suddenly obsolete.