Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Chessmen (32) and box-board

19th century
Amber, leather, brass
Overall (board, confirmed): 1 3/4 × 15 3/16 × 15 1/16 in. (4.4 × 38.6 × 38.3 cm); Height (clear king, confirmed(: 4 3/16 in. (10.7 cm); Height (clear, pawn, confirmed): 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm); Height (opaque king, confirmed): 4 5/16 in. (10.9 cm); Height (opaque pawn, confirmed): 2 3/16 in. (5.5 cm); Overall (original box): 4 1/2 × 16 1/4 × 10 1/4 in. (11.4 × 41.3 × 26 cm)
Chess Sets
Credit Line:
Gift of Gustavus A. Pfeiffer, 1948
Accession Number:
48.174.72a–p, aa–pp, q
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10
Each piece has a number from 1 to 32 wheel-engraved on the base, a feature noted in other German sets. The workmanship is typically German, and the horses are well modeled. A box of black Morocco leather, with brass mounts and gold tooling is en suite; it opens flat to reveal a hinged board with storage for the chessmen beneath. The set has been attributed to the Hohenzollerns, and although there is no proof for the suggestion, a symbol with words underneath, which would have indicated the original owner, has been obliterated from the box.
reputedly part of the Hohenzollern Collection ; [ Daniel Z. Noorian , New York, until 1930; sold for $200 to Pfeiffer ] ; Gustavus A. Pfeiffer , New York (1930–48; to MMA)
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