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Lot
44175

[Emperor Maximilian of Mexico]. Carved Bone Mexican-Made Chess Set, circa 1860s....

2013 September 21 Legends of the West Signature Auction - The John N. McWilliams Texas Ranger Collection - Dallas #6104

 
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Auction Ended On: Sep 21, 2013
Item Activity: 3 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

Description:
[Emperor Maximilian of Mexico]. Carved Bone Mexican-Made Chess Set, circa 1860s. This fine pulpit-style chess set is made of bone, with one set of chessmen in natural finish and the other set of chessmen stained red. All chessmen have gold painted highlights. The crowned king, or rey, stands 4.75" high. The queen, or reina, is topped by a tinted Mexican eagle and is 4.5" high. The pawns in both sets are surmounted by flags. In the red set of chessmen, the flags are the Mexican tri-color. Some of the pieces are embellished with mother-of-pearl insets.

The set is housed in a green silk-covered box with the top decorated hand-painted chess pieces and an arabesque design featuring two gold crowns below crossed swords. The interior of the silk box is lined in red and white tufted silk. The box is 20.25" wide by 14.5" long by 5.25" high. The silk box fits into a hardwood box with a marquetry chessboard top. The outer box measures 22" x 16" by 6.5" high. The chessmen show use, with some pieces chipped and missing delicate details. There is evidence of repair. The silk box is sound with some wear to the silk at the edges and interior. The exterior box has surface scuffing and a split on the top.

Included with the chess set is an imperial size cabinet card of Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian in the uniform of the commander-in-chief of the Austrian Navy. Below the image is the facsimile signature "Ferdinand Maximilian." The back of the 9.75" x 12.5" cabinet card has the photographer's label of C. H. Ulrich Jr. & Co. of Vienna. Maximilian was later enthroned as emperor of Mexico. Provenance: Gaines de Grafenried.

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