Bonhams is one of the world’s oldest auctioneers of fine art and antiques, operating since 1793. In their present form they have become one of the largest as well, through acquisition and mergers. They are clear market leaders in ten key specialist collecting areas. They have announced the sale of a number of very rare and unusual items in the Chess Sets, Playing Cards and Games category on September 14. The auction for the exclusive items like Paul Smith chess set and Hello Kitty playing cards will be held in their Knightsbridge sales room.
The highlight of the sales is the unusual Mary Chess glass perfume bottle chess set. It was during the 1930s that Mary Chess became popular as women’s perfume. Glass chess pieces were used to bottle a selection of this popular perfume. The pre sales estimate for this set is £2,000 – 3,000. Along with the set of unopened scent bottles several letters written by Mary Chess Ltd. will also be offered for sale. There are letters written by the lady in waiting for the Queen Mother and the Queen of Sweden who have both written to Mary Chess appreciating the magnificent chess set.
Another highlight of the sale is a rare Spassky-Fischer silver and silver-gilt chess set designed by the American Director Cy Enfield in 1972. The designer was commissioned to design this set on the occasion of the much anticipated Chess World Championship of 1972 between Fischer and Spassky at the height of the cold war. The set, which is signed by Boris Spassky is from a rare limited edition production of just six sets. A 17th century South German kingwood, oak, padouk, ebony and ivory inlaid games board a Staunton ivory chess set circa 1865-70 are the other highlights of the sale.