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Author: Liddell, Donald Macy (1879-1958)

Year: 1937

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace and Company

Place: New York


xii+171 with plates, bibliography, appendices and index. Quarto (11" x 8 3/4") bound in black cloth with gilt lettering and pictorials to spine. In collaboration with Gustavus A Pfeiffer and J Maunoury. Inscribed by Gustavus A Pfeiffer. (Betts: 54-4) First edition.

In a large and striking format, with 96 pages of halftone illustrations, Chessmen provides a rare delight for the chess enthusiasts. The authors tell in detail the history of the various pieces from earliest centuries down to the present day, showing how wars and religions, national customs politics, even geography, have affected the design of chessmen. The game of chess, an undying pastime in every nation of the world, has been employed by generals to study military problems, by kings to escape from affairs of state, by statesmen to spread propaganda. During the Soviet regime, Russia designed sets which dramatize the struggle between the old order and the new; during the World War many players used sets depicting the struggle between the French and German armies. Napoleon, an enthusiastic chess player, added a colorful chapter to the game and its men. Eighteenth-century sets were made to emphasize the absorbing struggle between Sacred and Profane Love. In short, hundreds of anecdotes and curious facts are set down to tell this interesting story. But by far the most striking feature of this book is the illustrations of sets. Here are pictures of Javanese and medieval chessmen, handwoven and jade sets, modern porcelain beauties - almost one hundred of them.


Inscribed on the front end paper. Jacket with some edge wear and closed tear at head edge else a near fine copy in like jacket.