Whenever I gather material for another post in this series on Top eBay Chess Items by Price, I try to pick something unusual. While chess playing porcelain figurines are quite common, any piece that sells for a three figure price tag is definitely unusual. The figurine pictured below was titled 'Vintage Dresden Lace; Capodimonte Figurines; Playing Chess, Mark Crown N', received 23 bids from six bidders, and sold for US $761.
Capodimonte Figurines Playing Chess
I assume that's a mirror behind the couple to show the back of the piece. The description said,
You are looking at a wonderful example of porcelain artistry at it's best!! This lovely French-looking couple dressed in Dresden Lace is playing a game of chess on an exquisite Louis XIV table. Pink porcelain roses look like they were used to catch layers of lace to make swags ~ her tiny waist is corseted ~ her hair hangs in ringlets. He is dressed in a typical 18th century outfit in beautiful dark lavender colors and gold pants. The Dresden lace can be found on the collar and sleeves of his outfit. They are seated on exquisite French chairs atop a lovely lavender and blue carpet. There are so many perfect details here, that you really have to look well or you can miss it. This must be the very top of the line Dresden Lace Capodimonte.
From what I can determine, the blue mark on the bottom of the piece ~ a crown with the letter "N" is the mark of Italian Capodimonte. I believe it is circa 1910-1950 - maybe older? Overall, it is in lovely condition. The lace is all intact. I don't see any chips or cracks. This collector really took great care of her collection. Measures: 10 inches wide, 6.5 inches tall, and 6.5 inches deep. This piece is quite heavy.
What makes it so valuable to collectors? I imagine the name Capodimonte has something to do with it (see Capodimonte porcelain on Wikipedia for more about the brand), but the key phrase is undoubtedly 'lovely condition, intact' etc. etc. That porcelain lace dress is easily damaged.