September 6, 2019

Featured Chess Set: September 2019

September’s Featured Chess Set is part of the collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF). Since its creation in 1986, the WCHOF has endeavored to highlight the history and cultural significance of the game of chess. The WCHOF’s collection is diverse and includes sets once owned by legendary players, mass-produced sets with lively pop culture themes, antique ivory sets, travel sets, as well as chess computers. Through these artifacts, the WCHOF illustrates how chess has evolved through its over 1500-year history. This set is part of a generous donation from the estate of Jacqueline Piatigorsky, a 2014 inductee to the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

Meissen Chess Set, 1748

Joahann Joachim Kändler for Meissen

Meissen Chess Set


King size: 3 7⁄8  in.

Board: 12 5⁄8 x 12 5⁄8 in. 


Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of the family of Jacqueline Piatigorsky

This elegant porcelain chess set, which is paired with a board adorned with flowers, is one of the oldest objects in the collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame. The Meissen factory, the first producer of porcelain in Europe, created the set. Joahann Joachim Kändler, one of the factory’s most acclaimed modelers, designed it. Kändler was a court sculptor for the Elector of Saxony and Meissen founder, Frederick Augustus I. He became the chief modeler at Meissen in 1733, and he was influential in creating the tradition of making porcelain figurines. This set, which is missing one green knight, is set up in a position from a 1955 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship game between Mona May Karff and Jacqueline Piatigorsky. Piatigorsky won the brilliancy prize for this game.