The German Ore Mountain – Erzgebirge – region has been known for its toy making for centuries. During the heydays of mining – including tin and silver extraction – already many wood manufacturers worked in the heart of the Erzgebirge region, in the South of Germany. In the church register of Grünhainchen, a trader in wood pieces is mentioned in 1578. Grünhainchen and Waldkirchen developed into places of trade and maintained the distribution of wooden products for the whole Seiffen region.
A Rococco Style Erzgebirge Set
An example of a set from the German Ore Mountains. A Rococco style court is shown, incarnating Frederic The Great and his court. The main pieces, despite being knife-carved, show late baroque dress styles, enhanced with gold paintings. The Queen – a rococo court lady with high hairdo. The King – Frederick the Great – with a three cornered hat. The rooms imitate corner pavilions from the castle in Dresden (Dresdner Zwinder) garden palace. The King’s size is 86mm. Set from the 1970s, German Democratic Republic. Source: chess-museum.com
A ‘Runners’ Set
A ‘runner’ set from Borstendorf, Erzgebirge. In German, the Bishop in the game of chess is called a ‘Runner’ (“Läufer”). In these sets, the Bishop is always a runner. Handcrafted sets, one side in natural softwood, the other coloured in brown. Current set from the late 1940s. Made in the German Democratic Republic, Borstendorf, Volkseigener Betrieb (VEB). Source: chess-museum.com