04 November 2010

A Game Between Apollo and Mercury

Unlike the previous two posts on Top eBay Chess Items by Price (see White Christmas on Ebay for the most recent), the last two weeks presented slim pickings. The most unusual item, titled 'Hieronymus Vida, "Scacchia Ludus", 1547', received 10 bids and finally sold for US $860. The book's description read,

Marci Hieronymi Vidae Cremonensis Albae Episcopi Opera. Apud Seb. Gryphium, Lugduni (Lyons) 1547. • 360 pages. Contemporary limp vellum binding. 12,5 * 8 cm. • Bibliography: vdL II 259. L/N 4556. • Remarks: VG • Weight (Grams): 105

I recognize Bibliography: vdL as a reference to Antonius van der Linde and L/N must mean the 'Van der Linde - Niemeijeriana' collection in The Hague. A page on Vida and 'Scacchia Ludus' at Marco Gerolamo Vida describes the work as 'a game between Apollo and Mercury, in the presence of all the other Gods of Olimpus, during the celebration of the marriage between Ocean and Earth.' There is a translation by Oliver Goldsmith at Vida's Game of Chess

ARMIES of box that sportively engage
And mimic real battles in their rage,
Pleased I recount; how, smit with glory's charms,
Two mighty Monarchs met in adverse arms,

etc. etc.

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