The Biedermeier chessmen, like our other reproduction Victorian era Playing sets, have been reintroduced with those special touches that only the Maestro can add, and arevpart of the Camaratta Pre-Staunton Signature Series.
The House of Staunton is proud to offer another masterpiece - The Biedemeier Vintage Pre-Staunton Series Luxury Chessmen. These Chessmen feature a 4.4" King with a 1.5" Diameter base and are brass weighted.
The Biedermeier Antique Chessmen were normally produced in Boxwood and Ebony beginning in the late 1830s. The chessmen are tall and slender with disc-like bases. These sets are brass weighted and were housed in simple wooden slide-top boxes with the manufacturer” label affixed to one side. It should be appreciated by the chess collector that weighting of the chessmen.
The “Biedermeier” period is often associated with a period of relative peace following the French Revolution in 1830. The Bishops of this design are characterized by the remarkable sloped headpiece with its protruding staff. The design of these chessmen are strongly inspired by the more primitive Selenus design of the 18th century. With a little imagination, one can discern, in somewhat abstract form, the heads of messengers or couriers, with a feather in their caps.
The archetype for the name given to these chessmen in Germany and Austria was derived from “Mr. meier” (der biedere Herr Meier). Apparently, this is an unostentatious style (of furniture and interior design popular among the middle classes in 19th century Germany) after Gottlieb Beidermeier, a satirical name given to the uninspired German bourgeois. Consequently, the chess sets produced during the early days of the 19th century in Germany and Austria are called Biedermeier chessmen. Biedermeier chessmen of the simpler type, like the ones shown here, were the standard playing sets in Central European coffeehouses for half a century or longer. They were ultimately supplanted by the new Staunton Pattern and later by the robust Austrian or Old Vienna Coffeehouse style, both of which were more durable and stable. The chessmen continued to be manufactured, but in significantly lesser quantities, until the late Victorian Period.