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A RARE SOVIET PORCELAIN CHESS SET 'THE REDS AND THE WHITES'
A RARE SOVIET PORCELAIN CHESS SET 'THE REDS AND THE WHITES'
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A RARE SOVIET PORCELAIN CHESS SET 'THE REDS AND THE WHITES'

BY THE STATE PORCELAIN FACTORY, LENINGRAD, 1933-1934

Details
A RARE SOVIET PORCELAIN CHESS SET 'THE REDS AND THE WHITES'
BY THE STATE PORCELAIN FACTORY, LENINGRAD, 1933-1934
After the design by Natalia Danko, on the White side, the King is designed as Death, the Queen as Fortuna with a cornucopia, the Bishops as White Army officers, the Knights as armoured horses surmounted with double-headed eagles, the Rooks as boats, and the Pawns as chained serfs; on the Red side, the King is designed as a blacksmith, the Queen as a peasant woman, the Bishops as soldiers of the Red Army, the Knights as horses with red stars, the Rooks as boats, and the Pawns as workers bearing sickles and sheaves of corn, all marked under bases with blue hammer, sickle and cog and dated '1933' or '1934'
The White King, 4 3/8 in. (10.9 cm.) high and smaller
Special Notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Alexis de Tiesenhausen
Alexis de Tiesenhausen Senior Director, International Specialist Head of Dept, Russia

Lot Essay


Designed by Natalia Danko (1892-1942) around 1922, this set sought to promote Soviet sentiment, whilst continuing the Russian tradition of chess. The Communist red side, made up of workers and Red Army soldiers, plays against the Capitalist whites, whose appearances are permeated with motifs of death and struggle. The production of this highly propagandistic chess set continued into the 1930s.

For other examples see T.N. Nosovich, I.P. Popova, Gosudarstvennyi Farforovyi Zavod, 1904-1944 [State Porcelain Factory, 1904-1944], St Petersburg, 2005, pp. 350-351.

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