Lapidary Works of Art

Marine life chess set 

    Marine life chess set 

    Germany, Idar-Oberstain

    20th century

    Sylvia Quispe

    Mahogany, ebony, gold, ruby, opal, lapis lazuli, obsidian, quartz; сarving, polishing

    Tallest playing piece (the King) 15.8 cm; boxes 69.5 x 43.8 x 15.8 cm, playing board 71 x 71 x 12.7 cm


    Exquisite precious gem marine life chess set. Rich purple Tanzanian ruby plays royal blue Afghan lapis, the pieces fashioned as various sea creatures. The ruby pieces are mounted on Peruvian pink opal seashell and starfish bases, whilst the lapis is raised on quartz. The King and Queen on both sides are turtles with clear quartz heads and limbs, and each of the thirty-two pieces is generously accented with a large quantity of gleaming 18k gold. Each set is placed in finely crafted mahogany box, with chamois-lined fitted interior, and ebony and zebrawood inlays to the lid, around a pair of contrasting pale bird's-eye maple panels. The playing board with alternating squares of quartz and black obsidian, illuminated by an electric light from beneath, bordered with ebony and mounted in a dark zebrawood veneered base.