Moulded German plastic Renaissance chess set

This moulded plastic set from West Germany is not bakelite as some half starved sellers try to claim with desperation, just like they are hanging off a cliff with their hands holding a blade of grass. The CCI member Duncan Pohl offers some info in his book, which was a great help, as since Google killed off the public Picasa albums I had forgotten much of the information written on my plastic sets album ‘Chess sets of United States companies’.  Duncan mentions that this set was marketed by ARRCO/SAXONIN THE STATES. I remember purchasing this described as rare (which is nonsense ) from the well-known Glasgow auction house known as Great Western Auctions simply described as ‘a chess set’, which is a correct as you can get. Some sellers claim the pieces are hand painted which is correct, and as a test I used a small dab of metholated spirit, and some paint came off a piece so that was enough information for me.

The cost of this likeable set was less than £30.00, the use of the term ‘Bakelite?‘ is rather unethical as is ‘Bakelite type‘ which has been used in the past with hefty price tags – there is not a cat’s chance in hell of paying so little for a quality early plastic set. There is a smaller version of this set made in the 1950’s by the KOZIOL from Erbach in Germany – again these are not rare items and not bakelite. This information is taken from ‘miniatur schachspiele a CCI publication’, a  very handy publication. By total chance/accident I noticed this set being handled by the past Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland:-

I have no knowledge if he was a competent chess player – perhaps a PR stunt to enhance his profile-,  but I very much doubt this association with my set enhances its value considering what has been written about the man since he passed away in 2006. We collectors can have a bit of fun tho’ viewing well known public figures handling chess sets that they have in their collections.


Posted on

September 2, 2020

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