28 December 2014

Chess Stone Lithograph

In the previous, pre-Christmas episode of Top eBay Chess Items by Price (see Chess, Ebay, Christmas, and Paintings), I noted,

The month preceding Christmas is like, umm, Christmas. There are always plenty of interesting items to choose from.

While that's been true since I started the series, it's also true that the interesting items start tapering off in the last fortnight before Christmas, just like they did for this post. Besides the item pictured below, which was titled 'Michael Parkes -- String and Chess Game -- Pair, Signed, Unframed' and sold for US $890.10 'Buy It Now', I had one other item to choose from.

The other item was titled 'Original Manuscript of Robert Bobby FISCHER Grandmaster World Chess Champion' and sold for $3500, also 'Buy It Now'. Calling it a manuscript was overly generous. It was in fact a couple of games recorded by Fischer. The description noted,

Original chess notations reconstruction. Handwritten by Robert James "Bobby" Fischer (1943-2008), American chess grandmaster and the World Chess Champion, of chess matches -- Tigran Petrosian vs Ludek Pachman, 1961 Bled, Yugoslavia, and Boris Spassky vs Efim Geller, World Chess Championship 1968. Extremely rare algebraic notations by Fischer (who always used descriptive).

Since Fischer and Bjelica worked together on the book, but also TV shows in Yugoslavia –- using algebraic (not descriptive) notations -- they adapted to algebraic notation system which was common to the Yugoslav wider audience. Provenance: The manuscript was created during a joint writing of the book "Sahovski susreti stoljeca" (Chess meetings of the Century) by Fischer and Dimitrije Bjelica, jointly published in Serbian in 1973.

Why didn't I use the Fischer item? It wasn't particularly interesting visually, and Fischer has already been seen three times this year in 'Top eBay Chess Items': in Caveat Fischer - Spassky 1992, in Fischer Insecure?, and in Delucia's Chess Library.

Back to the Michael Parkes lithograph, the description added,

LIMITED EDITION STONE LITHOGRAPH • PAIR OF TWO • VERY LOW EDITION NUMBER! RARE! • Numbered: 37/160 • MATCHING NUMBERS ON SET • Safely stored in a cool, dry, temperature-controlled room • Lithograph Size: 19" x 27"

For more about Parkes ('an American-born artist living in Spain who is best known for work in the areas of fantasy art and magic realism'), see Michael Parkes on Wikipedia.

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