23 December 2012

A Chess Set Fit for the Queen of England

Every year at this time on Top eBay Chess Items by Price, it's the same thing -- lots of interesting items to choose from in the weeks before Christmas, little in the weeks after. For this last edition before Christmas, I chose to feature an item titled 'Sonnett Original Sculpture Ceramic CORGI Chess Set with Board, R&W vs.Tri. OOAK!'. Pictured below, it sold for US $2247 after receiving 27 bids from 10 bidders. The auction page received 431 page views.

The description started with a story.

You could say that it took me 20 years to make this chess set! Back in the 80's and 90's when I was selling solely at The Washington International Horse Show, I made a chess set of Corgis vs. Jack Russells. But it turned out people preferred one or the other, which does make sense. So I vowed to split the set and make two new ones, for red and white vs. tri Corgis, and for smooth coated Jack Russell terriers vs. broken coats.

I packed it away in 1992 and kept putting if off the project because of all the work involved. Early this year I started working on the tri Corgis, doing a couple of figures a month until it is finally finished! I will tackle the Jack Russell one next year, hopefully.

And what about the pieces?

For each side I've made a detailed King and Queen. The Bishops are Corgis in glasses sitting on a stack of chess book and poring over their computers. The Knights both have hobby horses and the Rooks are either cottages or townhouses. The Pawns are all puppies, each doing something different that puppies do. For the limited amount of pictures I wasn't able to show all the small details, but they are there!

On the four corners of the wooden chess board I've put sculpted Corgi faces (two red & white and two tri-color) and some decorative ceramic leaves. The entire set of chess pieces has been hand sculpted by me from ceramic clay. There are no molds involved, each piece is one-of-a-kind. Needless to say, I am never going to do another Corgi chess set!

Each piece was sculpted, dried and painted in detail. They then went through two high temperature kiln firings which gave them a permanent glazed finish. I have put felt on the bottom of each piece. Measurements: the standard chess board is 20" square, and is square on it is 2" square. The King on each side is a little over 3 1/2" in height.

For more about the artiest, see BarbieSonnett.com.

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