Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games

“Jan Žižka” Chess Set, Czech, 20th Century

  • “Jan Žižka” Chess Set, Czech, 20th Century
  • “Jan Žižka” Chess Set, Czech, 20th Century
  • “Jan Žižka” Chess Set, Czech, 20th Century
  • “Jan Žižka” Chess Set, Czech, 20th Century

A Carved Wooden Figural “Jan Žižka Chess Set of Large Size, Czech, Early/Mid 20th Century

one side stained black, the other side in varnished chestnut brown, kings as Medieval monarchs with beard and sceptre, queens with crowns and tresses, bishops as huntsmen with hat and gun, knights as horses’ heads, rooks as turrets, pawns as Medieval helmeted footsoliders, rooks carved with initials ‘J Z’ and motto: ‘NE DE JME SE’ (“Never Surrender”) 

King: 20.2cm high

Pawn: 13cm high

Provenance: Private European Collection

Stock Reference: ALB 1655


“Very Good”. Very minor scuffing and rubbing to the edges.

A Note From Luke

“Nedejme se” or “Never Surrender” was the motto of warriors under the command of Jan Žižka (c. 1360-1424) the legendary Czech general and Hussite leader, considered to have been one of the greatest military commanders of this time. According to the chronicler Piccolomini, Žižka’s dying wish was to have his skin used to make drums so that he might continue to lead his troops even after death.

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