Nuremberg 'Toy Selenus' Chess Set, 1830s
A Good Biedermeier 'Toy Selenus' Chess Set, Nuremberg, circa 1830
in carved boxwood or pearwood, stained chocolate brown and left natural, with painted 'facial' highlights, kings with multi knopped galleries and painted faces, queens similar, but of smaller size and with spiked finials, bishops with cut rectangular knops and wearing caps with 'feathers', knights as arched horses' heads, rooks as raised turrets with ball finials and chequer-board brickwork, pawns with baluster knops
King: 9.5cm high
Pawn: 5cm high
Provenance: Gareth Williams Chess Collection
Stock Reference: VW 1839
Painted faces on King, Queen and Bishop, slight rubbing and surface dirt, slight variation in height and size of pawns due to turning.
Painted faces on King, Queen and Bishop- less visible than on the Natural Side. Surface slightly worn, but with an attractive aged patina.
Slight lean to some of the chessmen.
A Note From Luke
A good example of an antique Nuremberg 'toy' set from the collection of chess historian, Gareth Williams. 'Toy' sets (with painted faces) were a variation on the traditional "Selenus" pattern, popular in Germany and Central Europe during the Biedermeier period (1815-1848). The deliberately 'cut' knops on the bishops are very typical of the Selenus style.
Nuremberg was- and is- known for its traditional crafts, including wood-carving and toy making.
A really attractive antique set with a good provenance. Recommended.
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