M. and A. Nowakowski

Andrzej Nowakowski was born in Lublin in 1938 and, after completing his basic education, attended the Higher Art School in Warsaw from 1953 to 1957. He achieved top marks in drawing, painting and sculpture. Already during this time he drew numerous comic figures, which is reflected in his later work. Soon his love for metal scultpture developed, initially he made rings, brooches, bracelets, etc.

His talent was discovered by Prof. Adam Jablonski, director of the ORNO manufactury. Nowakoski worked there for five years and received the finishing touches as a goldsmith. In 1973, he married Magdalena Strzelecka and founded his own goldsmith’s workshop with her. In a very short time he became known beyond Poland’s borders and received commissions, especially from Japan. He received many awards, including the Silver Cross of Merit. Andrzej Nowakowski died in Warsaw in 2008. Nowakowski created some wonderful chess sets. Each known set come with a matching board box to store the pieces and a speically made cloth bag, said to be the work of his wife Magda. 

The chess pieces are mostly cut from brass and copper sheet and then soldered. In exceptional cases, Nowakovski has also used silver. He often made historically significant event as a main subject.

Armada Set

Design most probably inspired by the destruction of the Spanish Aramada in 1588 by the English. One side brass, the other copper. Comes with a board box 46.5×46. 5cm. King 10cm; pawn 8.6cm. Source: CCI Chess and Humour, 2022. 

Poles against Turks

When the former Polish Pope Wojtyla – who liked to play chess – was crowned, the Polish government commissioned a chess set for the new Pope in silver. The theme was the victory over the Turks in Vienna in 1683 when King Jan Sobiesky helped the Prince of Savoy. The artist produced a second set for the present owner. King 12.9cm; pawn 8cm. Source: CCI Chess and Humour, 2022. 

Pin Chessmen

The artist let him inspired by the Dieppe pin pieces. In an early chess book, a king is said to play chess in his carriage with pinned pieces on a chess cushion filled with sand. Contempory embroidery by Joana Mc Cowen. Source: CCI Chess and Humour, 2022. 

Vikings vs. European

Brass and copper sheet metal. Which exact battle served as a model for this set is not clear. Kind 11cm; pawn 7.6cm. Source: CCI Chess and Humour, 2022. 

Board Box

The accompanying board boxes are made out of wood and were provided with every chess set. This box is covered with brass and copper squares. The sides have decorations fitting the theme of the set. Source: CCI Chess and Humour, 2022.