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Title

Australia -v- England chess set


Artist

Peter Kingston

Australia

08 May 1943 -


About

"The chess set evolved from conversations with friends ... all the pieces are popular characters I admire. I didn't set out to make a joke of the Royal Family, but they are ideal humorous figures".
Peter Kingston, 1981

Created between 1976 and 1978, then revised and updated in 1981 to commemorate the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, 'England -v- Australia chess set' features a menagerie of characters representing the Colonial and the colonized. Cuddlepie and the corgi, the Queen Mother and the Opera Diva Dame Joan, each figure is carved meticulously from Oregon and lovingly hand painted in enamel.

The pieces cavort across a table flanked on four sides by the laughing, benevolent face which graces Sydney's Luna Park.

Throughout the ensuing decades, Kingston has continued to produce chess sets, creating 'New York chess set' and 'Art lovers chess set' in the 1980s, and more recently, in a tribute to his beloved funfair, he produced 'Luna Park chess set' in 1995.


Details


Dates

1976-1978
reworked 1981
reworked 1985
reworked 2008


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

carved wood table with 34 wooden chess pieces, synthetic polymer paint on carved Oregon wood


Dimensions

93.0 x 101.7 x 101.5 cm overall dimensions :

a - Luna Park chess table; 54.8 x 101.7 x 101.5 cm; Located inside Drawer [part b]

b - Luna Park chess table: Drawer A; 10.5 x 65.7 x 44 cm; Located inside Drawer [part c]

c - Luna Park chess table: Drawer B; 10.9 x 65.7 x 43.8 cm

d - AUSTRALIA - ROOK 1: Lamington (1); 7.8 x 7.8 x 7.6 cm

e - AUSTRALIA KNIGHT: Slim Dusty; 20.5 x 8 x 5.9 cm

f - AUSTRALIA - BISHOP: Joan Sutherland; 22.7 x 11.4 x 6.4 cm

g - AUSTRALIA - QUEEN: Dame Edna Everage; 30 x 5.5 x 6.4 cm

h - AUSTRALIA - QUEEN: Kim [from Kath and Kim]; 24 x 6.3 x 5.6 cm

i - AUSTRALIA - KING: Norman Gunston; 25.4 x 7.5 x 5.5 cm

j - AUSTRALIA - BISHOP: David Gulpilil; 22.6 x 7.8 x 5.6 cm

k - AUSTRALIA - KNIGHT: Ned Kelly; 7.6 x 7.7 x 5.6 cm

l - AUSTRALIA - ROOK: Lamington [2]; 7.8 x 7.6 x 8 cm

m - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Minnie Peters [Ginger Megg's gir; 10.5 x 7.7 x 5.5 cm

n - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Blinky Bill; 10.2 x 8.1 x 5.6 cm

o - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Nutsy [from Blinky Bill]; 10.3 x 7.8 x 5.7 cm

p - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Ginger Meggs; 9.9 x 7.8 x 5.6 cm

q - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Walter Wombat [from Blinky Bill]; 11.1 x 7.9 x 5.6 cm

r - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Splodge [from Blinky Bill]; 11.5 x 7.6 x 6 cm

s - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Snugglepot and Cuddlepie; 10.2 x 8.1 x 5.6 cm

t - AUSTRALIA - PAWN: Mrs Magpie [from Blinky Bill]; 10.3 x 7.8 x 5.6 cm

u - ENGLAND - ROOKE: Castle [1]; 12.5 x 10.2 x 5.7 cm

v - ENGLAND - KNIGHT: Prince Andrew; 20.1 x 9.8 x 6 cm

w - ENGLAND - BISHOP: Princess Diana and Prince Charle; 13.8 x 10.4 x 5.8 cm

x - ENGLAND - QUEEN: Queen Elizabeth II; 16.1 x 13 x 5.6 cm

y - ENGLAND - KING: Prince Philip; 17.3 x 9.5 x 5.7 cm

z - ENGLAND -BISHOP: Camilla Parker Bowles; 15.6 x 8.7 x 5.9 cm

aa - ENGLAND -BISHOP: Queen mother; 12.5 x 7 x 5.8 cm

bb - ENGLAND - KNIGHT: Princess Anne; 20.3 x 8.2 x 5.9 cm

cc - ENGLAND - ROOK: Castle [2]; 12.5 x 10.2 x 5.6 cm

dd - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [1]; 11 x 7.8 x 5.5 cm

ee - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [2]; 11.5 x 7.8 x 5.7 cm

ff - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [3]; 11 x 7.9 x 5.5 cm

gg - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [4]; 11.1 x 7.8 x 5.6 cm

hh - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [5]; 10.9 x 8 x 5.7 cm

ii - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [6]; 11 x 7.6 x 5.7 cm

jj - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [7]; 11.1 x 7.7 x 5.8 cm

kk - ENGLAND - PAWN: Corgi [8]; 11 x 7.4 x 5.7 cm

ll - Perspex lid; 39.8 x 83.2 x 83.2 cm

mm - Drawer A: cover; 61.1 x 36 x 0.6 cm

nn - Drawer B: cover; 61.4 x 36.1 x 0.6 cm


Signature & date

Signed and dated right side of base, black synthetic polymer paint "Peter Kingston 30 9 78". Signed and dated c. verso on part h, black fibre-tipped pen "'08/ Peter/ Kingston".


Credit

Gift of the artist 2007


Location

Not on display


Accession number

357.2007.a-nn


Artist information

Peter Kingston

Works in the collection

19


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 4 publications

Bibliography


Jill Bowen, The Australian women's weekly, 'Anyone for chess with Corgi and Bess?', pg. 46-47, Sydney, 07 Jun 1978, 46-47 (colour illus.).

Kate Crawford, The Mosman daily: incorporating North Sydney, 'Spotlight on Kingston art', pg. 27, Parramatta, 02 Dec 2004, 27.

Gavin Wilson, Harbourlights: the art and times of Peter Kingston, Victoria, 2004, (colour illus.).

Natalie Wilson., Notes from the river caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp, 'Notes from the River Caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp', Sydney, 2006, (colour illus.). Website catalogue for the 'Notes from the River Caves: Peter Kingston and Martin Sharp' exhibition held at the AGNSW in 2006.