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Discovering Roberto Scardella’s exclusive chess set gold finished brought to mind the tale by Lewis Carroll, ‘Through the Looking Glass’, the story of Alice and the magic chess set.

I dreamed I heard words crying out from somewhere on the chess board as a sandy beach appeared:
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax
Of cabbages and kings;
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings.”

The voices faded away as ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ drifted on down the beach, rhyming together about the joys of oysters and the consumption thereof.

This enigmatic poem is recited by Tweedledum and TweedleDee when they meet Alice on the square that she occupies as a white pawn, on the fourth row of the magic chess board, where she is seeking promotion to be a Queen (a common ambition of young women). Having been informed that she may be just a figment of the dream of the dormant Red King, and hearing that all the oysters had been eaten, she moves on without further ado to further adventures on the chess board.

Through the Looking Glass. Lewis Carroll immortalised in this tale the mind of a chess player in an exclusive chess set – a mind filled with wonder and creativity and a smattering of Jabberwockian madness in every move.

How is it that a game not invented by the Chinese but arising from Persian inventiveness and European refinement should attract so much verbal volubility and artistic interest? What sort of artistic mind is bent to sculpt beauty in the form of a chess set?

Roberto Scardella is one such sculptor, a man whose love comes with casting bronze and engraving; and whose happiness comes from the sculptured works in his hands. This exclusive chess set was firstly designed in the mind of this freelance sculptor,creating designs that bring metal to life – a Lewis Carroll of the sculpture world but without ‘uffish thought’ or ‘eyes aflame’?

Each chess piece is cast in bronze by the ‘lost wax’ process. This method requiring intricate sculpting in wax, is from the sixth century BC, and the technique has been increasingly used in the production of bronze sculptures, the result of long and laborious manual work. After being cast, the pieces of this exclusive chess set were finished, always manually, by engraving and then underwent an electrolytic process that allowed the gilding and silvering, respectively, with 24 K gold and 100% silver. The chess board was made with a thick and rigid Plexiglass plate, laser engraved to create the dark squares (all 32 of them).

This exclusive chess set is part of Roberto Scardella’s sculpture series DeSaRtes, created at his Rome studios. It makes a wonderful present of elegance. Contact Energitismo for further details

(This article is reproduced under licence from Energitismo Limited)

Gavin Tulloch

Scienziato e poeta. Ama la chimica, il vino, le donne e l’opera, ma non sappiamo in quale ordine