15 July 2010

Chess Sets, 'Never Been Used'

Continuing with Top eBay Chess Items by Price, of the 50 highest priced chess items listed on eBay over the past two weeks, only one sold (not counting two items for the Chess record company): 'Faberge Imperial Chess Set -- Carved Onyx and Jasper'. It received one bid for US $1,150.

The description said,

Gold Vermeil--24 karat gold electroplate on solid sterling silver with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, cultured pearls, amethysts, tourmalines, aquamarines, citrines, garnets and jade. The Faberge Imperial Chess Set, the only chess set ever created by Igor Carl Faberge, was produced by the Franklin Mint in a edition permanently limited to 1,500 sets world-wide. [...] The chess set has been on display in my house for 23 years and has never been used. The chess pieces have been removed from the case twice; once when examined on receipt in 1986 and once when photographed. The case is constructed of solid rosewood with an inlaid marble playing board. The marble top contains some cracks not visible in the photos.

At any one time there are dozens of sets available on eBay from the Franklin Mint. With only a little effort I came up with the following list of distinct sets.

  • Battle of Waterloo
  • Camelot
  • Civil War Chess Set
  • Coca Cola Chess
  • Emperors of the Orient
  • FIDE Professional Wooden Chess Set
  • Great Crusaders
  • Great North American Ducks
  • Greek & Roman Gods
  • Guardians of the Fortress (two of these were listed as 'Lord of the Rings')
  • King Tut Chess Set
  • Looney Tunes
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Nigri Roman Empire
  • Raj Chess Set
  • Royal Houses of Britain Heraldic Chess Set
  • Sportsman Trophy Chess Set
  • Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
  • Star Trek: 3-D
  • Star Trek: Official Next Generation Chess Set

There are undoubtedly more. To have been sold at three different times, the Star Trek chess sets must have been particularly popular. I have already described another set in a post titled Peter Ganine and Star Trek.

The Franklin Mint of the late 20th century had a spotty reputation. The phrase 'never been used', mentioned in the description above, is seen in many of the eBay auctions.

No comments: