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Among the most exotic of materials formed in nature and used in chess sets are pearls—concretions of aragonite and calcite hosted by living animals—oysters. Over 100 of these mesmerizing, lustrous concretions can be seen along with sparkling polished amethysts adorning the Silver Gilt Enamel Chess Set and Board of the 1900s, a tour-de-force of silver-smithing, relief casting, decorative engraving, and cloisonné enameling.

This sample was loaned to the World Chess Hall of Fame from the Collection of Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Details

  • Title: Sea Shell with Pearls
  • Location Created: Locality unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: 1 15/16 x 4 5/16 in., opened
  • Provenance: Collection of Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Type: Bivalve shell with pearls (calcium carbonate)
  • Rights: ©World Chess Hall of Fame, Photo: Michael DeFilippo

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