VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Maranao Chess Set
E-Mar-9
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

A chess set with a wooden board bordered with silver plate and a centrepiece of the same material with floral design. The rarity of the chess set is due to the limited number of members of society who had access to them. The chess pieces are made from a hard wood embedded with mother-of-pearl, lined with silver plate, and topped with coins. The pieces are cast in okir fashion and the horse appears as a naga head. Carving each piece of the chess set and decorating it with equally elaborate materials such as silver plate with floral design, buttons of mother-of-pearl and silver coins required considerable skill, creativity, and resourcefulness. Not many could afford to commission a craftsman to create a piece representing their royal status. The material used was valuable. Only a few pieces survive which are in good condition at present.

History of the Object
The object was purchased for Php 60.00 from Datu Pangandaman in 1959. It is now on display at the Kinahinatnan Gallery, Museum of the Filipino People.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Wood, metal, silver and mother-of-pearl 
Measurements
Width 56.0 cm Height 10.0 cm Length 56.0 cm  
Creator name
Maranao  
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Philippines; Mindanao; Lanao del Sur 
Geography
Philippines 
Time period
Unknown 
Creation date
Unknown 
Function
A form of recreation for those belonging to the upper class. This was introduced by the Malayan Muslims in the 15th century. 
Acquisition
Purchased for Php 60.00 from Datu Tangurac Pangandaman on December 24, 1959. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum 
Museum
National Museum of the Philippines 
Credit line
 

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