The Book of Chess

Author Jacobus de Cessolis Italian
Publisher Heinrich Knoblochtzer German

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14

This book about the game of chess and the ranks of society is the fourth German, second Strasburg edition. The woodcuts are based on the ones found in Günther Zainer's Augsburg edition. The text is divided into books, the first touches on the origins of chess and the reasons for its invention; the next two books explain how the pieces represent different ranks of society. The different social classes are then made the subject of anecdotes and illustrations. The fourth book concerns the game itself.

The Book of Chess, Jacobus de Cessolis (Italian, active 1288–1322), Woodcuts with letterpress, touches of watercolor

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