Man Ray Chess Set - Board and Pieces

Sale price$709.00 USD
Re-stocking soon

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About The Man Ray Chess Set - Board and Pieces

Designed in 1920 and recreated by expert craftsmen from Germany and Italy, these pieces are comprised of abstract geometric forms. Philadelphia-born, Brooklyn- raised, Dada-Surrealist artist Man Ray created sets from 1920 till his death in 1976. The pyramid is the Egyptian symbol of kingship and the cone a medieval queen's headgear. The flagon represented the bishops' tradition of creating exotic liqueurs and spirits. The knight is fashioned after the head scroll of a violin and the pawns are as tall as the rooks and almost as volumetrically robust as many of the other pieces that are higher ranked to show the increased importance of pawns in modern chess play.

Very few of these original sets are still available for purchase and when they are, they command prices at auctions of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Man Ray is hailed as one of 20th century's most innovative artists. Son of a Russian immigrant tailor, Man Ray's artwork was far ahead of its time so he lived modestly his whole life. His vision was to design a simple, straightforward, but modern and affordable chess set.

Interesting fact. The knight piece fashioned as the scroll of a violin is sourced uniquely from a violin manufacturer in Italy with the expertise and tooling most suited. It's then joined with the rest of the beech wood set made in Germany and finished to perfection.
The beautifully designed chess board was made to compliment the Man Ray chess pieces. Solid beech wood board measures out at 15.75 inches square and was made under license with the Man Ray trust.
  • King 3.25", base 1.5"
  • Queen 3.25", Bishop 2.75", Knight 2", Rook and Pawn 1.4"
  • 32 solid beech wood pieces
  • Board is veneered beech wood, 17" x 17" x 3/4" with 2 1/8" squares

Product Specs

Board Size
Square Size
King Height
King Base

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
Aloixa Sinclaire
THE Most Beautiful Chess Set

These pieces are a work of art. I love admiring them - especially the knight. I think (as others have stated) their lack of heft is a bit of a drawback. I would love to see this set made from stone.

Perfect experience

My Man Ray chess set was lovingly packaged and shipped promptly. I would definitely shop here again. Thank you!

branko drazenovic
Objet d'art

Beautiful to look at (a matter of taste), not so good for actually playing, not weighted. Stick with a standard Stanton for play.
Delivered promptly (to Melbourne, Australia), excellent service.

Beautiful to look at.

Chess House is great!! but the product is a tad disappointing- the pieces are not weighted & the felt doesn’t entirely cover the bottom of the larger & square pieces so they topple over with the slightest touch. Beautiful... but not as playable as desired especially considering the price.

Michael Musumeci
Very happy customer

Received the chessboard in just a few days after ordering, and it is as beautiful and of as high-quality as I hoped it would be.