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(Evolutionary Chess Set)
1975. Folk art chess set and table. This non-traditional chess set is based on the theory of evolution, with dinosaurs facing off against mammals. The field is alternating squares of brown earth and green & blue ponds. The pawns on each side grow through the early evolutionary stages: the dinosaurs starts as a simple DNA double helix, which progresses through aquatic creatures and early amphibians; the mammalian side begins with a small, rat-like creature that ultimately evolves into early man. The larger pieces are in pairs, though each member of the pair is posed differently so that the set comprises sixteen unique pieces. The dinosaurs are represented by stegosaurs, pterodactyls, and something similar to an iguanodon. The king and queen are, appropriately, a pair of tyrannosaurus rex; the queen wears a pretty necklace of shark teeth. Opposite are rhinoceroses, saber-tooth tigers, mammoths, and a pair of modern humans as king and queen. The queen is a smartly dressed woman from Tokyo, and the king is a farmer named Butch, who bears an unfortunate resemblance to his pre-historic cousin in the row of pawns. The entire piece is a free-standing table, with the board resting on four legs. Around the edges of the board, a continuous landscape shows the gradual progression of life from the chaotic cosmos through to the modern day. The four legs of the table are painted in similar scenes, with one leg each for early aquatic life, dinosaurs, early mammals, and modern day. The Tokyo theme may point to a date of creation in the range of 1965-1975, the height of the Japanese Kaiju monster films craze. Pre-historic creatures, though magnified to a gargantuan scale, were common in these monster films, and their size was often the result of science gone wrong. The top of the chessboard measures 33 inches square, the base 36 inches square, and it stands 34 inches tall, not including pieces. A fascinating, unique piece.
      [Bookseller: Bromer Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2017-04-10           Check availability:      Biblio    

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