Josef Hartwig
German, 1880 - 1955
Bauhaus, manufacturer (Weimar)
Chess set, 1923

Box:   H. 5 1/8 x W. 5 1/8 x D. 2 1/4 in.

Designed by Josef Hartwig, this celebrated chess set sold very well when it was first introduced in the early 1920s. Although the sets were officially produced by the Bauhaus in Weimar, they were actually handmade by a carpenter who had lost his job in a piano factory. The chess set and other Bauhaus commissions enabled him to start his own firm.

The simple geometrical designs of the Hartwig pieces indicate how they can be moved. While initially well received, the sets were not made for long. Today, the official pieces sanctioned by the International Chess Federation are the more traditional Staunton figures.