February 12, 2011 by staff
Antique Archaeology, Small broken pieces were unrecognizable when found in the soil outside of Montpellier. Maybe a sewing bobbin, archeologists have thought.
Only later did they realize what they had: tiny pieces of chess James Madison, probably very set he used to commit Thomas Jefferson in support of several hours that pitted the two great minds the 18th century against each other.
With nothing more than fragments of two pieces of ivory hand, officials of Montpellier has begun a process of research and deduction that would enable them to identify the style of chess Madison and lead them to an auction house in London, where they could buy a specified time, they just believe with certainty, is an exact match for the original Madison.
“The moment we discovered the pieces, we knew we had found something very special,” said Matthew Reeves, director of archeology at Montpellier. “At first we thought they might be part of a bobbin sewing bone, but further examination, it was clear that these pieces were a treasure of the past James Madison reflecting intellectual activities and social life. Accounts countless visitors told us to love James Madison for a portion of good chess, but we did not know what his set was like. ”
The deadline was unveiled this week as the fourth president of drawing room, sitting on a table in the original game Madison, discovered in 2009.
The pieces are hand-turned or Old English style of Washington, known as such because George Washington had also such an assembly, said Lynne Dakin Hastings, vice president of Montpellier for the museum’s programs.
The pieces are white and red rather than white and black, and, as such, may seem a little unusual to modern eyes. The two pieces of black and red were in use during the period.
“This particular style of play, the old English style, very fashionable and very popular at the time,” said Hastings.
Montpelier officials consulted with researchers from failures to determine the style of play that has produced small fragments, which were found in a trash pit. Officials have concluded that Madison was in pieces based on three red coins kept in Tudor Place, a historic house in Georgetown. Parts allegedly belonged to Madison and is said to have been given to him by Benjamin Franklin, Hastings said. These pieces are white and red.
Identified with the style, Montpellier officials began to find a suitable sample.
“We’ve been very fortunate in our ability to find this game as quickly as we did, once we have confirmed what we wanted,” said Hastings.
“You can, if you were very smart, and if you watch a lot online auctions large, you may find two or three [such units] per year,” she said. “They are not extremely rare, but they are not very common either. ”
The purchase was complicated by the composition of songs. The government has strict regulations governing the ivory, which allows the import of antiquities at least 100 years.
As such, get the game of chess in the country required a lot of paperwork, “said Michael Quinn, president of Montpelier. “They want to know that it’s not illegal ivory,” he said. “Obviously, we passed muster because it was shipped and is now on the screen by James Madison Drawing Room. ”
Including shipping, customs and other fees, the price tag of all amounts to about 2,800, and Hastings said.
The new display at Montpellier about love of the game in Madison. Jefferson’s granddaughter Ellen Coolidge Wayles noted that the third and fourth presidents often engaged in battles of long-term failures.
According to Coolidge, Jefferson “was in his youth, a very good chess player. … There were not many who could get the better of him. I’ve heard of” four Match Time “with Mr. Madison.”
There is evidence that the wife of Madison, Dolley, may have played chess as if it is considered preferred to have more games such as toilets, similar to the modern card game of heart. An “ongoing” game of Loo is exposed in the living room, alongside the screen failures.
Madison’s love of chess was such that he was even expected to play Sunday, which was simply not done in his time.
“At that time, the game on Sunday was really not acceptable at all,” said Hastings. But perhaps, she speculated, Madison saw chess as something more.
“Madison may have felt that chess was not so much a game, she says,” like an intellectual pursuit. “
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