Baroque chess set bought at TEFAF Maastricht by the Amber Museum in Gdansk.

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The Amber Museum in Gdansk bought the c.1690 set from Kunstkammer Georg Laue at TEFAF Maastricht in 2020 for an undisclosed sum but unveiled it only last month following a major refurbishment.

Until a few years ago, the set was in the possession of the Dukes of Atholl at Blair Castle in Scotland and was one of the last examples remaining in private hands.

According to Kunstkammer Georg Laue, it closely relates to another amber chess set at Rosenborg Palace in Copenhagen from the Royal Danish Treasury.

Other comparable examples are held in princely collections at the Green Vault in Dresden amassed by Friedrich August I of Saxony and in the State Hermitage in St Petersburg from the collection of Catherine II of Russia.

During the Renaissance and the Baroque eras, amber was regarded as a substance of mythical origin with magical powers and was known as the ‘gold of the Baltic Sea’.