Let's make a chess set!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I've been getting interested in chess again (I used to play in tournaments when I was in college decades ago) after watching "The Queen's Gambit" on Netflix. I realized we can make several sets of chess pieces with our coins. Silver coins as the white pieces and patinated bronze as the black pieces?

    Post yours!!!!

    King: No shortage of these on coins and I figure any King or Emperor will do. How about my favorite emperor, Marcus Aurelius?

    Marcus Aurelius LIBERAL AVG V COS III denarius.jpg

    Queen: No shortage of these, either. Any Queen or empress will do. Of course, with Marcus Aurelius as king, Faustina II has to be the queen!

    Faustina Jr HILARITAS S C Sestertius.jpg
    Bishop: There are many medieval coins featuring bishops, but I don't own any. I figure a coin depicting a priest performing religious rites would count, such as this one of Claudius as priest, holding a simpulum:

    Antonia Dupondius.jpg

    Or Elagabalus: Elagabalus SACERD DEI SOLIS ELAGAB denarius.jpg

    Knight: Certainly one of those Carthaginian horse's head coins would be perfect, but I figure any equestrian figure would count, such as this antoninianus of Philip I:

    Philip I VIRTVS AVGG antoninianus Savoca.jpg

    Rook: Of course, a campgate would be perfect!

    Crispus PROVIDENTIAE CAESS campgate centenionalis Alexandria.jpg
    Pawns: There is no shortage of foot soldiers on coins.

    Gallienus VIRTVS AVGG Emperor stg r c spear and standard.jpg
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  3. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    Beautiful coins! ...but I'm a Staunton man, myself.
  4. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    This one would be perfect as a white rook. Galerius Ar Argenteus Antioch 298 AD Obv head of Galerius laureate right Rv Campgate or Rook RIC 43/ 4a 3.18 grms 19mm galerius9.JPG
  5. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Fun idea... I’m in.

    I'll go with a husband and wife combo from the 2nd century as well but mix it up with Antoninus Pius as King...

    ... and his beloved Faustina I as the Queen.

    Here is St. Blaise proudly holding his Bishop's Mitre.

    I'll see your Philip I and raise you... actually I'll also go with Philip I.

    Here is my favorite campgate.

    Some foot soldiers.
  6. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Perfect, indeed!

    Excellent!!! That St. Blaise was the sort of design I had in mind!
    +VGO.DVCKS and Curtisimo like this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Very cool concept for a thread. ...Not any less so the more I think about it.
    ...Bishops? got some up in here.
    COINS, MEAUX, BISHOP ETIENNE, OBV.jpg France, Meaux, episcopal issue, c. 1161-1171. Bishop Stephen (Etienne / 'STEPHANVS'), with his miter and the whole thing.
    Castles... here's a[nother] repost of a seigneurial issue, eerily of the same period. COINS, FRANCE, ST.-AIGNAN, HERVE III, REV. JPG.JPG
    (Berri /Berry, vaguely western central France --a politically dysorganized [sic] part of that world. Seigneurie de St.-Aignan, Herve III, c. later 12th c. Here you get the vague outline (no, in good examples) of what looks like a 'shell keep' on a motte. The legend goes: '+CASTRVM.' ...Honest, medieval representations of castles, especially in contrast to the late Roman equivalent, are thin on the ground, up to the the 14th century.)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    This sounds amazingly fun. I’ll have to see what I can come up with, it won’t be as awesome as your guyses but I’ll try my best
    +VGO.DVCKS and Roman Collector like this.
  9. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Cool idea.....Here's a black knight...
    Spain, Bolskan (Osca). Circa 150-100 BC. AE Unit (10.35 gm, 24mm).
    Obverse: Bearded head right; dolphin behind.
    Reverse: "BOLSKAN" in Celt-Iberian in exergue, rider on horse right, holding spear; star behind.
    CNH 8; SNG BM Spain 734; SNG Copenhagen 325. VF.
    SPAIN BLACK 2.jpg
  10. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Here's the second white rook

    Constantius, Argenteus - Antioch mint, 8th officina, c. AD 296-297
    CONSTANTIVS CAESAR, Laureate head of Constantius right
    VIRTVS MILITVM, Campgate, *ANTH* at exergue
    3.40 gr
    Ref : Cohen #318, RCV # 13966 (1100)

    A pity it's yellow, but we could paint him if necessary, I can provide a knight.


  11. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    I've been an avid "chessnut" for many years & enjoy playing the games of the old masters like Paul Morphy, Mikhail Tal, & Jose Capablanca. I joined the website at www.chess.com after retiring & will challenge any CT member to a 30 minute game on that website (it will cost you nothing to join that website). I also frequent the website Chessgames.com.
  12. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    Nice thread idea! Let's do a medieval chess set – chess came to the West in the Middle Ages, after all.

    King. How about this positively royal Neapolitan gigliato? In my eyes, this is one of the iconic medieval displays of kingship on a coin:
    MA – Italien, Neapel, Robert der Weise (neu).png
    Kingdom of Naples, under Robert "the Wise" of Anjou, AR gigliato, 1309–1317. Naples mint (?). Obv: +ROBERT DEI GRA IERL ET SICIL REX; Robert sitting facing on lion throne, holding lily scepter and globus cruciger. Rev: + hOnOR. REGIS. IUDICIU. DILIGIT; floral cross, lilies in quadrants. 28mm, 3.93g. Ref: MIR Napoli 28.

    Queen. There are medieval coins depicting actual queens, but I have none. My only coin struck by a queen (an Otto-Adelheid-Pfennig) is visually unimpressive. Thus, I'll go with an early modern coin showing Mary as queen of heaven:
    MA – Ungarn, Ferdinand I, 1538, Madonnenmünze.png
    Kingdom of Hungary, under Ferdinand I, AR denár, 1538 AD, Kremnitz mint. Obv: FERDINAND • D • G • R • VNG • 1538 •; quartered shield with stripes (Árpad), double cross (Hungary), leopard heads (Dalmatia), and lion (Bohemia); central inescutcheon with Austrian arms. Rev: PATRONA •*• VNGARIE; crowned Madonna with child; in fields, K–B. 16mm, 0.62g. Ref: Huszár 935.

    Bishop. No shortage of these. I'll go with this Cologne obol (half penny), since it's one of my favorite coins:
    MA – Deutschland etc., Köln, Rainald von Dassel, Bischof und Gebäude mit Sarkophagen, Obol.png
    Archbishopric of Cologne, under Rainald von Dassel, AR obol, ca. 1159–1167. Obv: Bishop facing, holding crosier and book. Rev: church building with three towers, inside, three sarcophagi (?). 14 mm, 0.53g. Ref: Hävernick 498.

    Knight: I thought about showing an early modern Mansfeld taler with St. George on the reverse, but since chess originated in India, this might be the perfect oportunity to sneak in a medieval Indian horseman jital:
    Orient, MA – Chauhan Dynastie, Prithviraj III., Jital, Tye 52.png
    Chauhan of Delhi, Prithviraja III., BI Jital, c. 1191–1192 AD. Obv: stylized bull l.; Nagari legend “Sri Samanta Deva” around. Rev: stylized horseman r.; Nagari legend “Sri Prithvi Raja Deva” around. 15mm, 3.39g. Ref: Tye 52.

    Rook: A crusader coin from the Kingdom of Jerusalem showing the Tower of David:
    MA – Kreuzfahrer, Jerusalem, Baldwin III denier (neues Foto).png
    Baldwin III, Kingdom of Jerusalem, BI Denier, 1142–1163 AD, Jerusalem mint. Obv: BALDVINVS REX; cross pattée. Rev: + DE IERVSALEM; Tower of David. 16mm, 0.97g. Ref: CCS 21.

    Pawn: There is no shortage of men-at-arms on medieval coins. Here is a nice bracteate with St. Maurice in full armor:
    MA – Deutschland etc., Magdeburg, Moritzpfennig, 1603ff .png
    Archbishopric of Magdeburg, anonymous, AR bracteate penny, ca. 1270–1280 AD. Obv: St. Maurice, wearing armour, standing facing, holding lance and lance flag; ringlets r. and l.. Rev: negative design (bracteate). 20mm, 0.73g. Ref: Berger 1603–1605; Slg. Bonhoff 719.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
  13. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    kool idea..the only office i ever was nominated for & elected to was the college chess club vice/pres..i play my computer..not as frequently as i used to, but yeah, i'm a old chess player from wayback...how 'bout some dengas of czar Ivan the T for knights? (i have some to spare:p) 7  silver kopecks ivan iv russia 001.JPG
  14. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Why not her ?

    Lizzy I - Six pence, 6th type, 1591
    Ref : Spink # 2578 B

    finny, Stevearino, DonnaML and 10 others like this.
  15. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Here is a nice rook, absolutely black in color.

    The Andharas of the Deccan, Satakarnis, Goutamiputra Sri Yajna Satkarni (?), 172 - 201 AD, Potin (nickel? billon?) Karshapana, 19mm, 2.85g
    Obv: Brahmi legend "... Ya-na Sa-Ta ..." ("[Rano Siri] Yana Sata[kanisa]"); Tusked elephant with trunk raised
    Rev: Satavahana symbol (cross with circles) AKA Ujjain.

    The nice thing about using this as the rook is that the reverse shows the legal moves for a rook. Mine is a bit off-center, but you get the idea.
  16. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Very cool idea and nice, creative sets of chess pieces!!

    I'm curious if someone were able to create a set (well, one player's set) from one ruler or issuer? And if so, would it be a later ruler issuing LRBs? Or could you do it with a 1st or 2nd century AD ruler?

    Also, what about a Greek set... What would that consist of?
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  17. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I feel like Constantius II and crew would be able to make a decent full set
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  18. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter



    Makedon Alexander III Lifetime Tet Myriandrus mint-Alexandria near Issus

    QUEEN (arguably first living woman on a Roman coin)

    RImp Marc Antony 43 BCE AR Quinarius 13mm 1.67g Lugdunum Winged bust Victory-probly Fulvia Lion DVNI LVGV Cr 489-5 Syd 1160

    BISHOP (Veiled as Pontifex Maximus
    Roman Imperatorial Era
    Julius Caesar Lifetime
    P Sepullius Macer AR Den
    1st 2 weeks-Mar 44 BCE 4.03g.
    Venus Victory sceptre star
    Syd 1074a Sear Imperators 107e Cr 480-14

    Carthage Zeugitania First Punic War 264-241 BCE Double Shekel 26 mm 13.9 g Wreathed Tanit Horse stndng r star above SNG Cop 185 Rare

    ROOK (Yeah, he "rooked" the Empire...)
    RI Constantine I CE 306-337 Æ Follis 19mm 3.2g Siscia CE 326-7 AVG Laureate R - PROVIDENTIAE AVGG Camp gate 2 turrets no door star RIC 200

    PAWNs (The sad story of these 2 Guys...)
    Philip III Arrhidaeus - Alexander IV
    AR Drachm
    Amphipolis mint
    2.59g 13mm
    Youth horse
    VERY RARE SNG ANS 621 Le Rider123
  19. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Here are a few bronzes with dark patinas as contenders for the black pieces.

    Julian II

    Severina Augusta as sole ruler


    Krannon AE

    Constantius “open doors” campgate
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  20. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Mag-Smegging-Nificent, @Orielensis! Only the Best!
    Orielensis likes this.
  21. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Supporter! Supporter

    ...so now, the "CT Ancients Gambit"...:joyful::hilarious:

    Love this idea, & although I can't play, I'm following it closely...some great ideas & specimens so far! :singing:;)

    Sing along:

    "Chessnuts" roasting on an open pyre,
    Jack Frost sipping at the booze,...

    ...Oh, you know the rest! :hilarious::hilarious::hilarious::eek::rolleyes:

    I also like:

    "I'm dreaming of a wide Christmas...", because you know, I like them big! :jawdrop:

    ...and the one about the Chinese cooking, ah yes, "Wok'ing in a Winter Wonderland"...:facepalm:
    ominus1 and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
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