Lot #122. Russian Karl XIII vs French Chessmen
Russian Karl XIII vs French Chessmen.
A modern set of hand-painted ceramic Russian Karl XIII vs French Chessmen. This ceramic chess set was created in Eastern Europe. The pieces are magnificent, full-figured portraits. The King stands 6” tall. The chessmen are in superb condition. There is no storage case for the set.
Though known as King Charles XIII in Sweden from 1809, he was actually the seventh Swedish king by that name. Charles was the 872nd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain. He was also King of Norway as Charles II from 1814 until his death.
On 13 March 1809, those who had dethroned Gustav IV Adolf appointed Charles XIII as regent, and he was elected King. In November 1809, he suffered a heart attack and was not able to participate in government. A planned attempt to enlarge the royal power in 1809–10 was not enacted because of his indecisiveness and health condition. By the time he became king, he was 60 years old and prematurely decrepit. This triggered a search for a suitable heir. One of Napoleon’s generals. Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, was chosen as his successor. The new crown prince took over the government in 1810.
Charles’ condition deteriorated every year, especially after 1812, and he eventually became a mute witness during the government councils chaired by the crown prince, having lost his memory and no longer being able to communicate. When Sweden and Norway united on 4 November 1814 Charles became king of Norway under the name Carl II of Norway. After eight years as king only by title, Charles died without a natural heir on 5 February 1818 and Bernadotte succeeded him as King Charles XIV.