A RARE MEISSEN 'SEA LIFE' CHESS SET, CIRCA 1925
designed by Professor Max Esser, comprising thirty-two chess pieces modelled as sea creatures, painted in black and red enamels, and a matching chess board molded on two sides with waves and sea foam and on the other two sides with octopuses, crossed swords and dot marks in underglaze-blue, the board with incised shape number A.1083, the pieces with incised shape numbers
width of board 20½ in.
Overall the set is in excellent appearance. Due to the fragility of the pieces there are some with restorations. These are are follows:
both seahorses, both lobster tails, head of queen
2 starfish, both seahorses, one lobster and the tail of the other. gilt-crown of queen, a pierced part of king's head'
The board with one bun foot replaced.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Max Esser (1885-1945) was a German sculptor. From 1900 to 1903 he attended the Unterrichtsanstalt Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin, under the schooling of animal sculptor August Gaul. Before working for Meissen, like his contemporary Paul Scheurich, Esser designed models for Schwarzburger Werkstätten für Porzellankunst in Unterweißbach. By September 1919 Esser was designing models for Meissen becoming Workshop Master in 1923.
A second example of this rare form was in the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, sold, Sotheby's New York, November 21-23, 2014, lot 319.