Reproduction Selenus “Tulip” Chessmen in Rosewood and Boxwood.
Offered here is a reproduction of a graceful set of Selenus “Tulip” Chessmen in Boxwood and rosewood. The King stands 4-1/4″ tall with a 1-1/4″ diameter base. The pieces are unweighted and felted. The chessmen, often referred to Tulip or Garden sets. The chess pieces are housed in a solid Walnut storage box, lined in green felt The pieces play and display best on a chessboard with 1-3/4″ to 2-0″ squares. The gray and white Spanish veneer chessboard shown is not included. A suitable chessboard can be found here. The chess pieces are new.
This style was originated in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Northern Europe. The standard for these designs included delicate, slender, lathe-turned bodies and bases, fitted with circular tiers resembling crowns. The Kings and Queens were distinguished by height and number of tiers. The chess pieces are housed in a replacement wooden box, not shown. These chessmen play and display best on a chessboard with 1-1/2″ squares or smaller. No Chessboard is included. However, a suitable antique chessboard for these chessmen can be found elsewhere on this site. See: https://chessantiques.com/product-category/chessboards/.
The Selenus design was named after Gustavus Selenus, a pseudonym of Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Gustavus is a creative anagram of Agustus. Selenus comes from Selene, Greek goddess of the moon, an obvious reference to Luneburg. In 1616, Augustus (Gustavus Selenus) published the first German chess book, Das Schach- oder Königsspiel. In addition to chess instruction, this book contained excellent illustrations of contemporary chess pieces. German chess pieces at the time tended to be slender with stacked floral crowns. The pieces became taller, thinner and more elaborate as time went on. Their floral motif has led to their being known as Garden or Tulip sets. The Selenus pattern sets were manufactured in Central Europe until around 1914. The Selenus design is one of the most elegant of the classical chessmen in use before the standardization of chess pieces ushered in with the advent of the Staunton chessmen. The revolutionary Staunton design was registered by Nathaniel Cooke and launched, in September of 1849 by John Jaques of London.