Man Ray’s rare Silver Chess Set was commissioned by the Maharajah of Indore in 1926. In the artist’s lifetime, only three copies were made, produced in brass and silver-plate. While living in Hollywood in the 1940s, Man Ray proposed making the 1926 set in a slightly smaller, more manageable scale to facilitate play. At the time, however, silver was scarce and funds were limited, so the project never materialized.
The new set—produced in solid sterling silver under the supervision of the Man Ray Trust—conforms to the dimensions Man Ray desired (as outlined in newly-discovered letters and drawings by the artist). Each set has a total silver weight of 240 ounces, and was made to the highest standards by Cimini, a noted silversmith. Produced in an edition of ten numbered examples, each set comes in a fitted cabinet-quality hardwood case, and is accompanied by a maple and walnut chessboard.
Pieces: 32 pieces, precision-crafted, hand-polished solid sterling silver: King 3 inches high.
Board: Walnut and maple (matching the design and proportion of those used by Man Ray), 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 5/8 inches.
Case: Solid straight-grained walnut, lined with green Pacific Silver Cloth; contour-fitted compartments designed for each piece,
17 1/2 x 12 5/8 x 3 1/2 inches
Edition: 10 numbered copies; a facsimile signature of Man Ray appears on the underside of each piece in the set.
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