05 Feb Chess Set
This piece is an entire chess set. The armies represented opposing each other are the Israelites and Philistines. The Israelites are represented in silver while the Philistines are coated in gold. Characters from the Bible take their appropriate roles on each side.
Israelite Army in Silver
- The King — King David is portrayed as the King for the silver pieces. David, the Son of Jesse, won fame defeating Goliath the Philistine giant, became the third King of the Kingdom of Israel, and fathered Solomon who became King after David.
- The Queen — King David’s wife Bathsheba, originally the wife of Uriah the Hittite, is portrayed as the Queen for the silver pieces.
- The Bishop — Zadok, the first High Priest of the Temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. He served both David and Solomon, instrumental in preventing handsome Absalom, David’s rebel son from becoming king.
- The Knight — Nathan was a prophet who urged David to build the Temple and who tried to explain to David why it was a crime against Uriah for David to commit adultery with Bathsheba, but David sinned against God in spite of Nathan’s warning. Nathan was even credited with being a historian who wrote a book about his time with David, but copies of that book do not survive today.
- The Rook — The Tower of David is represented as a castle piece, the Rook. Unlike Nathan’s book, the Tower of David survives to this day, Although the origin of the tower may stretch back farther than David, the Tower is referenced in the “Song of Songs”.
- The Pawn — Uriah the Hittite is represented in the array of pawns fighting on the side of the Israelites. Uriah the Hittite was the husband of Bathsheba, the woman David had committed adultery with. David sent him into battle where he died fighting.
Philistine Army in Gold
- The King — Goliath the Giant is portrayed in the design for this chess set’s king. He was the champion of the Philistines, named to fight King Saul’s champion, David.
- The Queen — Delilah is used as the character portraying the Queen. Samson’s love for her allowed the fulfillment of her mission for the Philistines, to discover the source of his strength. She betrayed Samson, weakening him, and turned him over to the Philistines.
- The Bishop — Baal, the deity of the Philistines is pictured on the design for this chess piece’s rook.
This set’s design was created in 1973 for Rabbi Jan Breski of Sarasota.
The pieces are quite intricate. The surfaces have the unique look Yaacov’s work is characterized by, the ultra-smooth surface that results from the Electroforming process. The set on display at Gallery 22 is likely the most captivating chess set you’ll ever see.