Man Ray Chess Pieces

Sale price$450.00 USD
In stock

Chess House Guarantee

  • Easy parts. When buying a chess set online, we've got you covered. With us, you have easy access to parts for years so your set is always playable.
  • Safe, timely arrival. Every order is thoughtfully packed. Plus, delivery time is clear from checkout until it reaches your door.
  • Peace of mind. Easy access to our friendly experts and 90 day, no-hassle returns.

That's why 21,522 people rate Chess House 4.8 out of 5 stars.

About The Man Ray Chess 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.
  • King 3.25", base 1.5", weight: .085 oz
  • Queen 3.25", Bishop 2.75", Knight 2", Rook and Pawn 1.4"
  • 32 solid beech wood pieces in gift box
  • Matching Chess board available separately

Product Specs

King Height
King Base

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
kk jorgensen
Beautiful Design, Poor Knight Craftmanship

Of course the design is beautiful and makes you want to play. The pieces are balanced and have a good solid feel when you pick it up and set it down. My complaint is with the craftmanship -- the knights I received did not resemble the perfectly smooth spiral as depicted in the photographs -- mine were lumpy and the spiral slightly irregular -- it was most notable on the black knights. All other pieces were executed beautifully. A huge thank you to Chess House for being kind and responsive to my customer complaint -- they sent replacement knights very quickly. While the new one was improved it still did not resemble the photo. While I am disappointed I kept it as I didn't think the manufacturer cared and there was no point in continuing to request replacement knights as it probably didn't exist except for the photo. The set was a gift to someone special and it is really lovely. A custom cardboard box is provided with some info about Man Ray and the set. The pieces are somewhat protected in the box since most pieces have individual niche but a few pieces have to share a so some paper is wrapped to protect it. Again, outstanding customer service by Chess House!!

Man Ray chess pieces

Beautifully presented and great quality pieces. Arrived well packaged and quickly. Very happy customer!

Good chess pieces

Good chess pieces