BLACK FRIDAY !!!

FINALLY, it will be here TODAY. With photography help from Amy Hunter, assistance in setting things up from Brianna Bartlett, and Photoship assistance from Rob Long, my oldest son, I took on Photoshop CS4 today and came through with what you see while also eating a turkey Thanksgiving dinner by Renee Long and Maya Rodriguez. I was ready to embark, on using Word Press to come up with this collage. Another one, hopefully on Cyber Monday will be along with new items plus any items which didn’t sell on Black Friday.

A. Aluminum frame (18 x 19 inches) of the 4th world champion Alexander Alekhine, a titanic battler. The pen and ink production is beautiful in its rendering especially in shadow and outline with white matting. I got this in a monster trade of famous chess players which included accurate renderings of the great, some framed, some not. Maybe 20 or more. This was done by an art instructor named Myron Hill and the quality is over the top. While I sold them all, I kept this one for myself–just too good to end up in a $25 auction after I die. This is going to be sold anywhere from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Truly, I sold the other 19 or so from $150 (unframed) to about $300 for others (framed). If I had any sense I would have photographed all of them and put into a book!? I really am not crazy about selling this for $1,500 but that is the number where I will quit feeling the pain (ha, that’s what I tell myself!) Chess players, in general, are cheap, Collectors, not necessarily so. I just got an email yesterday from chess book dealer Fred Wilson announcing he would not buy any of American Chess Magazine but instead would read someone else’s copy! And Fred writes in the same letter about how “cheap” chess people are! Fred is bona fide cheap, I’ve dealt with him as a publisher and no one screamed louder than did Fred over what my stuff was worth. Magnus won game #10 today and so I am feeling a little generous. I can always use the $$$ but I hate giving good stuff away (see end of the Cyber Monday sale for details on Marilyn Monroe framed photograph from Playboy and the story that goes with it! Over the years I have had plans to use this Hill artwork on a project but never got the chance. If you want this baby, it will cost you a thou + fees (however you pay for it, valid money order preferred). That is $1,000 plus delivery expenses and packing. I’m not kidding when I say this is my favorite pen and ink of a legit chess player in all his intensity. By the way, I am selling copies of American Chess Magazine for $25 postage paid. It’s a $29.95 publication, in color, from Chess Informant but managed by my friend Pete Tamburro in NJ. You can get it from me, Bob Long.

B. The BOARD. Maple and walnut. One sided because there is a panel of wood on the base for rigidity and strength. The squares are, however, inlaid and 2.25 inches on a side. The border is tantalizingly thick and like the Matrix Morphy Boards I sold a year ago for about $800. This one I call the Woodstock because it was made by a manufacturer in Vermont. Rounded corners and buff colored pads on the underside to keep it from being scratched. A pleasure to play on, I know because it was mine for at least 25 years. Drueke never built them the way I desired, and I did sell several of my style. Heavy so you will have to pay for delivery and packing (great packing). Shipped by UPS. Other than a few plastic roll up boards, this is the only big board I own and I am asking $550 for it. Credit card, money order, PayPal and cash are OK. (Yes, someone sent me a thousand dollars cash in an envelope once. And I received it. He didn’t get that because it was a crime to open up someone else’s mail, no one would try to film flam me. He never seemed to get that criminals don’t think that way! NOR CARE. This is a phenomenal board and a year ago I had it brushed and buffed. I no longer have cloth bags to put these in.

P. The GRAND TURK. What an incredible set of Staunton style chess pieces! In budrosewood (ain’t she gorgeous?) and boxwood. This is not just a wooden chess set with a 4 inch tall King and the most beautiful Knight you have ever seen. House of Staunton and Frank C. claim he has the best chess sets in the world. I don’t believe in claims but instead believe in results. The Grand Turk’s budrosewood base color is so enticing it makes my brain go Vertigo, like in a Hitchcock movie. I sell them, with the green billiard felt on the base for $995 but for ONE day on Friday, I will sell you the whole shooting match for the absurd price of $750. Why do I say “absurd?” Because buyers tell me so. However, I ran out of the green felt on the bottom sets and it is too late to get more. I can sell sets with the black leather on the bottom for less as I have a couple of them, and your price for those is $695.00. Good through Cyber Monday. Perfect weighting (so the wood won’t split under adverse weather conditions). Take a close look at the picture. The “sawtooth mane” on the Knight is in exquisite symmetry. The surprise, however, might be the pawn with the finial ball on top–what rounding and polishing! To take good care of it see ST. Instructions will be included on the care and feeding of the Grand Turk set.

ST. The strongbox Kit. This box is loaded with small drawstring bags for each of the men (chess pieces). Included is a buffing cloth. There is a pair of white gloves for the most sensitive handlers although if you have BIG hands they may not fit. The creme de la creme is the polishing wax for the budrosewood pieces. The British Museum uses this micro-crystalline polish for their finest antique furniture. I only have 3-4 strongboxes so we only sell these at full retail, $49.95.

VB. Velvet Bag. These are dark blue and have a drawstring, for smaller chess sets. Keeps spillage and other gross things away from your chessmen. Have about 8 of them left over from one of our Chess Clinics. Retail was $10, will Black Friday one to you for $5.00. This way you can’t say that the Chess Butler doesn’t have anything which is unaffordable! It’s our way of saying “Hi, Meet our Chess Butler.” The men coming out of the bag are not included, just like presents that do not included batteries.

MP. Master Pieces, the book with the vellum cover! Look at how pieces are designed. Inside are some of the most eye-catching, museum-like sets, you have ever seen in full and gorgeous color! Also black and white’s of celebrities such as Woody Allen, Gene Hackman and Charlie’s Angels. While the Staunton design and story is included, on this book, the author, Gareth Williams primarily concentrates on the exotic and colorful sets. I have a few books in quite excellent condition. While the going price is around $35 I am selling these for $20.00, what has Hollywood ever done for me? Actually, to be honest, I did sell chess stuff to a number of Hollywood Stars. Hardcover.

CC. Canadian Correspondence Chess (History of by J. Ken MacDonald & Leonard Zehr). I ran out of these just before Black Friday but I can get a few more. Each hardbound has a dust jacket and a great story of chess by mail to our brothers in the North. Each copy is numbered by the author and there aren’t many left. The retail of this scarce book was $55 and we can sell a few more at that price. 232 largish pages and published by Thinkers’ Press, a little known publishing company I have. While there are collectors of Thinkers’ Press, inc. books, many don’t have this one, or several others we had done. 252 pages.

L. Lasker Bust. 9 inches tall, looks just like the grand old man of chess, Emanuel Lasker. The base has some chess figures on the side and a facsimile autograph of Lasker. Initially 38 were cast, one was painted by Rob. I still have #1, my personal one, but there is one left. The sculptor was the very talented Patty Anderson. She had gone on to do other famous sculptures around the city of Davenport from her barn-studio in the country. We had intended to do 100 of these but instead only 38 were made, all in Texas, copyrighted in 1998. My price of $500 was based on similar statuary of Doc Savage the Action Hero of the 1930s. I was quite pleased with the results and the initial sales all went fast. I did have one left over and will consider bids for the first one, the one made for myself. But the remaining one, for Black Friday can be had for $375.00.

M. Morphy coin/medallion. About the size of a silver dollar I had this made in 2014 after a similar object made for Paul Morphy in 1859. It is blank on the reverse side. Can be used for decision making and just carrying in your pocket. I have a few of the brass coins which initially sold for $50. Why not get one of the greatest player who ever lived (He was a year younger than Wilhelm Steinitz!) Now you can have this one, designed by Rob Long after the original. Just $35. Are you fanciful? I have a few in gold plating too. $125 was the original selling price, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday you can be the “lucky one” to get one for $99.00 Very limited edition. Comes in a clear plastic pouch.

LC. Leather Casket. That is the British term for a box which contains chess pieces and some can be very fancy and expensive. For example the Taj Mahal and the Topkapi which were made for the Grand Turk (or any set with a 4 inch King and approximately the same measurements for the remaining pieces). They were made of woods like walnut, superb brass hinging, strong magnets for lid closure and wrapped inside for stealth and piece comfort. But they were around $1,300 each and take time to produce. This black leather casket has the comforts of home and is easily much more affordable. Made in India by the craftsmen who make the Grand Turk. I imported six with a retail value of $125.00 each, but I have a special price, through the Christmas Season for $99.00. Quiet and comfy, just for you.

TS. Travel set, called the Napoleon. Cute and, it works! Everything (almost) is wooden. Squares, pieces, surrounding box, and slide out drawer. The King height is 1.25 inches. A dark wood and a boxwood. The drawer, which pulls out or pushes through is nice because there is an internal slit in the wall which prevents it from sliding all the way through and would help the pieces fall out, except for the slit and the padded cutouts for the pieces. Thus is a nice little travel set. The pieces move easily because the magnets are not super strong. Has that nice small hand-carved look. We sold many at $69. Have a couple left for Black Friday at $50.

CL. Chess Clock. Last minute addition. Made in Czeckoslovakia. Works have used it at my house. Didn’t check it before photographing it, but will do so before shipping it out, Wooden frame case. Glass front.S&H (packing) is $10.00. The clock itself is mechanical and easy to set. $30.00.

Shipping and handling. Items like chessmen,boxes, and such cannot be sent at the Media Mail rate. They incur 3rd class mailing charges. So the books I have listed here can be sent for $3.99 each inside the USA.

The big and rugged heavy chessboard (Woodstock) will be $29.95 because it has to be padded and bubble-wrap protected (likely, we have a separate service to mail such objects–UPS). The Alekhine art has glass and must be especially protected and I estimate the cost to be $39.95. We insure. Of course none of these charges are extra if you pick it up at 1524 LeClaire St., Davenport IA . Call first for an appointment (563-271-6657).
The Lasker Bust is also special and requires $25.00 for special handling and packing. You won’t regret it.

The Grand Turk set is primo, and requires two boxes and special packing and instructions on how to care for it. Shipping and packing (a bit heavy) will set you back $25.00 in the USA. The Strongbox polishing kit will probably be sent first class for about $8.95. The velvet bag is $3.00 and the Morphy Coin/Medallion is first class shipping, $3.50.

For Non-Chess Collectors — MARILYN MONROE

Or you can collect chess AND Marilyn Monroe! Long and interesting backstory about how I came by this scarce Playboy pose, in a golden wooden frame, 36.5 by 39.5 inches. Pictures available. This is a big boy work and is not pornographic! I can send a great photo (with a chess reflection) for $5 if you want the picture and story. If you buy it, the $5 will go as a credit against your purchase. I estimate the shipping & handling to be around $50-60 and to go by UPS in the USA. Whatever it is, the cost will be yours unless you pick it up locally. Won’t be available until next Tuesday (Nov. 29th) This is primo photography on a red silk sheet, MM stretched out on her side in a typical MM pose. As I said, already framed. $1,500.

Happy Hunting folks. Questions? Drop me a line at: info@chessbutler.com

For example? Do you have a Muhammed Ali autograph? Yes we do. $600.00. He even put a smiley face next to it. Made out to Bill my friend Peggy’s late husband.

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