|Pic by MS|
The specimen shown above was owned, until recently, by...
This states that his "love of the game" is "well documented", giving but a single source which says that "other famous chess fans include Madonna...Bob Dylan and Bono".
Be that as it may, Bowie's Man Ray set was Lot 141 in the recent Sotheby's auction of his stunning art collection. The set was described as "executed in 1945, this work is number 5 from an edition of 10, one of three such editions...made in the mid-1940s." The pre-sale estimate was £20,000 - 30,000 (US$ 26,500-39,700), guided perhaps by sales in earlier auctions: one, in walnut and beech, fetched £15,000; and another, in aluminium, £19,295.
Even though the Bowie set was laid out on a rather ordinary "commercially available wooden chess board" it came with a touch of Stardust, and sold for £106,250. (Not - I should add - to me.)
Read the full Man Ray chess story in this excellent Blog by BatGirl.
Lost in Art