I have, I think, seven chess sets in all. I used to have eight but one was taken when I was burgled three years ago. It was a magnetic set, which I kept in my bag, and the burglar took the bag: the theft of the set was incidental.
I've never heard of a thief deliberately stealing a chess set. Perhaps they're not considered of any value. Perhaps that judgement is wrong: some sets are worth five-figure sums, at least the ones that are on sale tomorrow at Christie's.
The set pictured above, for instance, designed by Man Ray in anodised aluminium, is estimated to be worth £10,000-15,000. Along with the other items Christie's are selling, it was part of the collection of the late Jean-Claude Cholet, who according to the literature was "a widely respected orthodontist". Personally I've never heard of him - the only "widely respected" Cholet of my acquaintance is a Womble - but if we're to take "widely respected" as a synonym for "paid a shedload of money" the description would appear to be entirely correct.
Anyway, not all the items for sale are quite so expensive so if you're keen to purchase part of M.Cholet's collection you might like to make your way to Christie's tomorrow at two o'clock: or phone Pippa and make a bid by telephone. But hurry, your dentist is probably on the phone already and hoping to buy the lot.
I wonder what the board on display in Simpson's is worth?
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