There is hardly a manufact that is better known for the entire Bauhaus style: the chess set of Josef
Hartwig. It was invented in 1923 and quickly became a classic of its genre.
The imperceptibly special thing about this chess set is its simplicity. No ornaments lend the individual pieces a haptic that radically turns away from what had previously characterized the design of chess pieces. While the pieces were otherwise manufactured according to their designation, the concept is now reduced to the essentials. The gait and the value of the individual pieces embody their representation. As transmitter of the incarnation, Hartwig chose the stereometric basic forms of the cube and the sphere. The tower is represented by a compact cubus with a correspondingly larger volume than a pawn or knight. The bishop, on the other hand, appears as crossing diagonals according to his gait. Form and completion of each figure are subject to the dictum of function. Thus the pieces harmonize skilfully with the playing surface, the chessboard, since they do not form a playful contrast, but rather find their way stringently into the symmetry.
The striving for clarity and simplification in favour of the recipient is therefore evident in the Bauhaus chess as in hardly any other object of utility art. It also delivers its contemporary and even timeless modernity not only to the pure end in itself. Chess has always been regarded as the embodiment of military aspirations. Only a few years after the end of World War I, Hartwig set a subliminal sign for peace by demilitarizing the representation of chess pieces. The Bauhaus chess game of the workshop master thus represents a skilful embodiment of the Bauhaus idea not only because of its appearance. It even contains a message.
Board size: 14".
Square size: 1.75".
32 pieces + storage box
Box size: 17" x 3" x 1.5" x 1.5".
King size: 2".
Base size: 1" Square
Made of maple wood