This beautifully crafted chess board has two different themes upon which its decoration was based. The mother-of-pearl fields are engraved with impossible situations forming moralistic scenes and sayings: such as the fox in a boat with geese - don't tempt a weak person. This theme was used on several games boards incorporated in Augsburg Kunst cabinets. The present games board is part of an unpublished study by Professor Karel Kerrebijn in 2006, Die Hainhofer Schachbretter Eine ikonologische Studie. In this study chess boards incorporated in Augsburg cabinets made under direction of Philip Hainhofer were compared with each other. Kerrebijn compared the present board with boards in the collections of the museums in Berlin, Braunschweig, Dresden, Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Uppsala. The games board from the Uppsala cabinet is the only one which also uses mother-of-pearl.
The ebony fields are naturalistically engraved with insects which were most likely inspired by the engravings of Joris Hoefnagel Archetypa Studiaque Patris, Georgio Hoefnagelii published 1592. Hoefnagel's depictions were an important step towards the recording of flora and fauna in proper perspective and as a fair representation of reality. The book proved influential for still life artists in the 17th century.
An Augsburg gamesboard with ivory fields engraved with comparable insects is in the collection of Peter Mühlbauer.
Queen's move. Women and Chess through the ages, tent. Cat., Den Haag, 2000.
David Parlett, The Oxford history of board games, Oxford, 1999, p. 317. D. B. Pritchard, The encyclopedia of Chess Variants, Goldalming, 1994, p. 17, 26, 37 175, 283.
B. Mundt, Der Pommersche Kunstschrank Berlin 2009, pp. 232-233.
G. Sundin, A Cabinet of Play http://www.gregersundin.se/download/a_cabinet_of_play.pdf