The ‘Biedermeier’ period is connoted with a period of political upheaval after the tumults of the French 1830 revolution in France. In Germany but also in Austria, the ‘average person’ at these times were sometimes associated with « Proper Mr. Meier » or ‘der biedere Herr Meier’ in German. This symbolises the archetype of the politically passive, worrisome and philistrian petit bourgeois. Some chess pieces made during the early part of the 18th century made in Germany and Austria are called Biedermeier chess men. Biedermeier chessmen of the simpler type were used as standard material in many Central European coffeehouses during these times, until the advent of the more robust ‘Old Vienna’ style. But some of them continued to be made way beyond the end of the the so-designated area, even beyond the 1880s.
This Biedermeier style with the remarkable slope bishops with a baton jutting forth are the primeval model. The slope bishops have their origins in older forms of Selenus type bishops. They are simplified forms of figural heads of messengers or courtiers, with a feather on top of their hat. The set shown is slightly damaged, some of the pieces are age twisted, one black Knight does not match. Origin approximately 1800-1830.
All slope-bishop set in polished boxwood. Height of Kings is 125mm. The slopes are slightly different to the set shown above. The Bishop tops are not hollowed out; batons are striated.