The Biedermeier chessmen, like our other reproduction Victorian era Playing sets, have been reintroduced with those special touches that only the Maestro can add, and arevpart of the Camaratta Pre-Staunton Signature Series.
The Biedermeier Antique Chessmen were normally produced in Boxwood and Ebony beginning in the late 1830s. The chessmen are tall and slender with disc-like bases. These sets are always unweighted and were housed in simple wooden slide-top boxes with the manufacturer” label affixed to one side. It should be appreciated by the chess collector that weighting of the chessmen, and marking the summits of the Kingside Rooks and Knights, was not the praxis until the advent of the Staunton chessmen which were first offered to the public by the firm of John Jaques in 1849. The concept of adding lead ballast and marking the Kingside Knights and Rooks was the invention of either John Jaques (although the Staunton Chessmen design registration is under the name of Nathaniel Cooke) or Howard Staunton. That praxis became relatively common in the years following and today, no serious set of chessmen is not weighted.
The “Biedermeier” period is often associated with a period of relative peace following the French Revolution in 1830. The Bishops of this design are characterized by the remarkable sloped headpiece with its protruding staff. The design of these chessmen are strongly inspired by the more primitive Selenus design of the 18th century. With a little imagination, one can discern, in somewhat abstract form, the heads of messengers or couriers, with a feather in their caps.
The archetype for the name given to these chessmen in Germany and Austria was derived from “Mr. meier” (der biedere Herr Meier). Apparently, this is an unostentatious style (of furniture and interior design popular among the middle classes in 19th century Germany) after Gottlieb Beidermeier, a satirical name given to the uninspired German bourgeois. Consequently, the chess sets produced during the early days of the 19th century in Germany and Austria are called Biedermeier chessmen. Biedermeier chessmen of the simpler type, like the ones shown here, were the standard playing sets in Central European coffeehouses for half a century or longer. They were ultimately supplanted by the new Staunton Pattern and later by the robust Austrian or Old Vienna Coffeehouse style, both of which were more durable and stable. The chessmen continued to be manufactured, but in significantly lesser quantities, until the late Victorian Period.
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- With Layaway, purchasing from us has never been easier or more affordable. It allows you to purchase selected House of Staunton products by making payments over time.
- Simply choose the items that you wish to purchase and how many months you wish to make the payments over.We'll automatically charge your debit/credit card each month. Once you've paid for the item/s in full, they'll be sent to you. It's that simple!
The House of Staunton warranties this item to be free from manufacturing defect for a period of one year from the date of purchase.
Please click here to download a copy of our warranty and guide to caring for your House of Staunton Chess Pieces.
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Included with Purchase
- Certificate of Authenticity
- Engraved Registered Plaque
- Individual Production Number
|Chess Board Included?||The Chess Board featured is for photographic purposes only and must be purchased separately|
|Material(s)||Antiqued Boxwood, Genuine Ebony|
|Manufacturer||The House of Staunton|
|Fitted Coffer Compatible?||Too Small for Coffer|
|Weighting||Brass Weights Affixed to the Bases|
|King Height||4.4'' inch / 11.18 cm|
|King Base Diameter||1.5'' inch / 3.81 cm|
|Recommended Chess Board Size||2.375" inch / 6.0 cm|
|Basepad Material||Billiard Cloth|
|Median Set Weight||40.6 oz|
|Total Number of Pieces||34 Chess Pieces, including 2 Additional Queens (for Pawn Promotion)|