Man Ray Chessmen and Chesboard Combination
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Man Ray designed this chess set in 1920 using found objects from his studio. Most of the pieces are geometric models made for still-life drawing (the king is a pyramid, the queen a cone, the rook a cube, the pawn a sphere).
The knight—the finial of a violin—was fashioned from a box of abandoned violin necks. Only a handful were ever produced (the maharajah of Indore commissioned a set made from silver-plated brass).
As well as constructing his set from practical items, Man Ray's design (just like his artwork) utilizes symbolic design. The King (3.25") represents the Egyptian king's pyramid; the Queen is the conical headdress of a medieval queen; the Bishop represents a flask for concocting healing liqueurs. The Pawn is nearly as tall as the Rook, perhaps symbolizing the hidden importance of the Pawn in the game.
This re-edition is rendered in Beech wood, as Man Ray originally intended, and is based on a set housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. To play with this set is to create a slow moving, sculptural tableau. You'll want to take your time pondering your next move.
Designed for use with the Man Ray Chess Set, the IC Design Group Man Ray Chess Board is made of solid beech wood to celebrate Man Ray's original 1920 design. The contrasting finishes perfectly complement the Man Ray Chess Set for a visually pleasing game.