For Sale: One-of-a-Kind, Extraordinary Work of Art, US$ 7,500
You are looking at the first ever casting of The World’s Greatest Chess Set, by Jack Bellis. The set can be purchased through George T. Hobe Fine Art
8407 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118 (215) 247-5733.
- The fuller, original set was finished in 1987 and has 30 unique sculptures, with only the rooks being identical on each team. It has taken about a quarter century to produce the first casting for sale. You can see more information about the original set at JackBellis.com/chess.
- This casting has seven (11) unique works of art, with each set having a different pawn.
- King- “Angry King”
- Queen- “Young Queen”
- Bishop- “Beseeching Bishop”
- Knight- “Charging, Right-Handed”
- Rook- Ancient Castle
- Gold Team-
- 5 pawns reloading crossbow
- 1 with Shield & Mace,
- 1 “Executioner,”
- 1 “Archer with Dog”
- 6 pawns, “Stone Thrower,
- ”1 “Executioner,”
- 1 “Archer with Dog”
- Unlike the original master set, the pawns have round bases for better playability.
- Just email me to make arrangements for purchase.
- Your satisfaction is guaranteed, and I’ll give you 30 days to return it.
- Want to make it a nice present? I can make the kings and queens in the likeness of your favorite people for an extra fee, but will only consider this after the base set is purchased. See http://www.jackbellis.com/tokens/index.htm for an image showing some custom face sculptures.
- The board is a spectacular work of art as well, a 27” x 27” x 3” thick piece of hardwood with 1+3/4” maple squares inlaid into it.
Go to Full-Size Images
The set depicts my image of the dark ages. The entire set is solid bronze. They’re heavy, all are completely solid except the rooks, which have a small concavity to reduce their weight a little. The set is most definitely made to play, with all of the pieces being stable durable.
This first set has one team plated in 18K gold, the other in verdigris patina, inspired by works of sculpture that I see in public. I’m not a fan of the gold and silver look. Hey, this is a work of art that is a chess set, not a chess set that is a work of art.
How Many Sets Will Be Made?
- I’ve decided I will not attempt to declare an end of the run, such as making this “Set 1 of X.” Instead the sets will vary with successive production castings. From the price, you can imagine that not many will be made. Even if it’s wildly popular, I doubt the market will demand more than a few castings. The quantity, and therefore your investment’s value, will be as exclusive as the clientele that acquires such special work.
- This is engraved as set #1 and no one else will ever possess an identical set. I will never make another set with only the 7 artworks of this casting. Subsequent sets will have a mix of these 7 pieces and other pieces, as I produce molds of the other pieces. To be clear, the 7 pieces in casting #1 will be in future castings, but additional artworks will replace some of those in this set. You are getting the first, and the only set of its specific list of pieces. And until or unless someone buys a future casting, you stand a chance of having the only one---of any mix of pieces---ever.
The First Casting
This first set DOES NOT HAVE the 30 unique sculptures of the original master artwork.
This first set DOES NOT HAVE the solid gold sceptres & tiaras, nor ruby and sapphire crown jewels of the original master artwork.
The tallest piece is the knight, 2+1/4” or 55mm tall, the height of a D battery. The knights take up more area than the other pieces pieces so they will extend into other squares on a board a little.
The ‘white’ team has 6 of these pawns with the mace and shield:
The “black” team has 6 of these pawns throwing a stone:
Each team has one of these pawns, an archer with a dog:
Each team has one of these pawns, “The Executioner”: