I am a very, very amateurish chess player. I know how to play, I appreciate the game, and I figured out a way to re-stage the musical in the round with a combination of the New York and London songs. Because I'm just a nerd like that. And I also have an appreciation for the chess board and its pieces as works of art...although admittedly I think my favorite chess set of all time is a Looney Tunes set. And not the Franklin Mint one you can find on eBay now, no...this one, I remember, had the characters prepared for BATTLE. Daffy was a bishop (I think that's right) but I distinctly remember him grinning like a madman, clutching an axe. It was tremendous. And tremendously expensive, which is why I don't own it today.
But anyway, when NotCot posted a link to that chess set there by Alastair Mackie entitled "Amorphous Organic," I was intrigued. Each piece holds a suspended insect, with one side all flying insects and one side all crawling insects. Slightly creepy? Perhaps. But still awesome. So I wanted to see what else was out there regarding slightly bizarre chess sets.
And actually, I found a one-stop shop for such information. The Virtual Art Museum not only has scads of chess boards (like the gazebo chess set pictured--how cool is that--assuming you can reach the "pieces," I guess) but has galleries of chess-inspired art as well.
That being said, I'd like to throw out two more here that I didn't catch strolling through the Virtual Museum, but the appeal is obvious.
This Aliens chess set was a limited edition run of 650 and is totally sold out. But nice solid pewter metal pieces? Alien Queen as the black queen and Ripley in her loader as the white queen? Stellar. Found via Wacky Archives.
And last, but not least: porn chess.
That's a set so impressive--and so expensive, probably, since the pieces are ivory--that ScottC would become a grandmaster for it.
I mean a grandmaster of chess, you maniacs.
Last set found via Boing Boing Gadgets.
And, just because I can.