INTERIORS, FURNITURE, AND PRODUCT DESIGN

PUBLISHER
FUEL Publishing

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8 x 10.5 in. / 232 pgs / 156 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2017 p. 23   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780993191169 TRADE
List Price: $47.50 CDN $60.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

Pieces so pretty you won’t mind losing

Anika Burgess
Atlas Obscura

  

FUEL PUBLISHING

Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World

Edited with introduction by Dylan Loeb McClain. Text by Dr. George Dean, Jon Crumiller, Larry List, Will Wiles.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World.'The world's most gorgeous and unusual chess sets, spanning hundreds of years and five continents
Chess, one of the world’s most popular games, has inspired artists for hundreds of years. Though apparently offering a limited canvas—each set has 32 pieces, each board 64 squares—sets have nevertheless been designed in countless ways, using almost every imaginable material, from precious metals, to ivory and rock crystal. They have taken many forms, from figural to abstract, and used many diverse themes, from the historical and political to the beauty and variety of the animal kingdom.
This book brings together some of the most beautiful and unusual chess sets ever made. Spanning hundreds of years and five continents, they are culled from private collections and museums, and include 200 year-old sets made by nameless Indian craftsmen, sets by Peter Carl Fabergé, sets from Soviet gulag prisoners, and sets by leading artists of the 20th century, such as Max Ernst.
Each set has been specially photographed for this book, with detailed insights provided by an exceptional group of experts: Dr. George Dean, Jon Crumiller, Larry List and Will Wiles (Dezeen), with an introduction by the book’s editor, Dylan Loeb McClain, former New York Times chess columnist.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Wallpaper

Tom Howells

Delves into the wider, richer world of chess set design – one informed by politics, social upheaval, folklore, contemporary movements in art and design and more. Edited by former New York Times chess columnist Dylan McClain and designed and published by Fuel, Master Works: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World runs a startlingly broad gamut.

Wall Street Journal

Alexandra Wolf

Showcases striking boards and pieces from the past five centuries.

Collectors Weekly

Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World...features exquisitely crafted games originating in a wide variety of countries, cultures, and eras.

Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World

in stock  $47.50


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/2/2017

Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World

Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World

"The importance and ubiquity of chess in the Soviet Union meant it penetrated the darkest places," Will Wiles writes in FUEL's fascinating new release, Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World. "Improvised sets could be very beautiful. One particularly fine example survives from 1937, the height of the Stalinist terror. It was made from matchsticks in a [Gulag] camp near the city of Vorkuta by an inmate known only as “engineer Shilov,” who died not long after its creation. Its pieces are dynamic, colorful bursts of abstract decoration, plainly influenced by the Constructivist art movement that had flourished during the Soviet Union’s brief period of cultural experimentation and plurality in the 1920s. True to Constructivist ideas, it is not purely abstract – its patterns have didactic purpose. Each takes as its central form the move made by the piece, so the bishop is a diagonal ricochet, and the queen a multi-directional starburst. The rook is an orthogonal composition resembling a miniature Malevich. The board, which folds and clips shut, is made of painted pine." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/1/2017

Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World

Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World

Made for export to patrician European households of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the ivory chess sets hand-carved in Berhampur, India, for the East India Company (aka the “John Company") are today among the most highly sought after by chess collectors. Reproduced from staff favorite, Masterworks: Rare and Beautiful Chess Sets of the World, featured this weekend in the Wall Street Journal, this 1830 set is from the Jon Crumiller Collection in the position "after 23.... Rd2, in the game Georg Rotlewi vs. Akiba Rubinstein, Lodz, 1907/1908." Crumiller notes, "The standard in John Company sets is that the kings and queens are elephants mounted by royal/upper-class riders on howdahs (i.e. seats or platforms, often with railings and canopies), usually accompanied by mahouts (elephant trainers/caretakers). Bishops are mounted camels, knights are mounted horses, rooks are usually in tower form, and pawns are foot soldiers. There are occasional exceptions to the form of the minor pieces, such as in the set from 1830 in which the white knights are depicted as lions and the black knights as water buffalo." continue to blog


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