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German "Silhouette" Chess Set, ca. 1900-1920

This is a somewhat unusual chess set, in which the pieces are silhouettes of a medieval court. The pieces are fretworked from plywood. On the underside are pale green thin felts similar to those used in southern Germany and Austria in the late 19th or early 20th century. The kings have a height of 12 cm and are depicted with sceptre and orb. The queens are court ladies with long braids. The bishops are depicted as runners, which indicates a German origin, as this is the literal meaning of the term "Läufer" used in German. The knights as rearing horses. The rooks are relatively small and depicted as a silhouette of a fortified tower.

The type of sawing resembles the handicrafts from the Ore Mountain and Nuremberg region, the German strongholds of toy production in the late 19th century. Similar patterns were used, for example, for the production of wooden Christmas ornaments. A most unusual and rare type of chess set.

Many thanks to Holger Langer for the description and the photos.

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