Paul Morphy's Personal Chess Set

batgirl
Sep 23, 2012, 4:05 PM 7,089 Reads 18 Comments

"Chess Life," Aug, 5, 1954


     The lady who first owned Paul Morphy's personal chess set was Morphys' friend, Léona Queyrouze who, in her essay, the First and Last Days of Paul Morphy, wrote:
      "But on the marble table stood the vast chess-board used by his father, long before his birth; a veritable heirloom, the battlefield upon which he achieved his earliest victories and triumphed over Löwenthal and other great Chess players. It was open and covered with chess-men; and in the midst of it stood the Black King, checkmated.
     Beside the board was the plain, square mahogany box, lined with faded green cloth, and in which the pieces were carefully replaced every night. Yes, the King of chess players was the antagonist of Paul Morphy, the only adversary worthy of Paul Morphy. That same chessboard and those same chess-men were given to me, after his death, by his mother and sister; and they saw, as they presented that token of affection to me saying:
     "You have always understood Paul, however peculiar he seemed to be; and he was very fond of you. We think that you have a right to what he liked best."
     With reverence I laid the pieces back into the box, and turned the little key which his fingers had so often touched. Whenever I gaze on that scarred board, worn out by innumerable contests, and on the castles with their shattered battlements, and the crownless Kings, I feel as though to lay my hand upon them were a sacrilegious act."

C.G. Fleming mentioned in the article was Cletus G. Fleming, Jr., a 1953 civil  engineering graduate of Tulane, where he played baseball, and later  member of the board of advisors at the Tulane University School of Engineering. He also has possession of the replica (created by New Orleans sculptor, Achille Perelli for the N.O.Chess and Checkes Club ) of the smaller version of Lequesne's bust of Morphy which was in the home of Edward Morphy.



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