It’s not often our curators and preparators get to “play” with our objects, but the team who recently moved Gianni Toso’s Chess Set, a whimsical work that is a favorite with our visitors, got to learn a little bit about chess.

The chess pieces are made in the form of Jewish and Roman Catholic religious figures. A Jewish rabbi and a Roman Catholic bishop (kings) join a group of holy men and women holding Judeo-Christian symbols of faith, including crosses, Torahs, menorahs, and single candles. Each chess piece has the appropriate costume, hairstyle, and accessory of its rank. Learn more about this object.

The artist does not dictate where the pieces should be placed on the chess board, so the team chose to set it up to show the Fool’s Mate, also known as the Two-Move Checkmate. This is the quickest possible checkmate in chess. See how it works.


4 comments » Write a comment

  1. Love this work by Gianni Toso. The expressions on the faces always make me chuckle. Then I think of the amazing skill with the torch it must take to create these sets and I am in awe.

  2. My aunt bought a pice of the chess set .When she was in Venice
    A pice of it broke off on the plane. I told her I saw the same pice in Corning Glass. She was shocked that she owns a pice of history. I would like a close up of the chess set
    thank you

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