A miniature fruitwood chess piece of Saint George slaying the dragon.
German, mid 16th century.
Measures 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.3cm.
The polychrome is original and the miniature sculpture is without restoration, with wear consistent with the piece being handled as a chess piece. There is damage to his left leg.
We know several examples of these horse figurines forming chess games made in Germany during the 16th century. They were fixed on a turned base as can be seen in a series at the Rijksmuseum (inv. BK-NM-7402). The King, like a Saint George, is represented as here on horseback trampling a dragon, as a Christian king triumphant over Evil.
Other sets are also visible at the Bavarian Nationalmuseum and a very similar piece is kept in a private collection, it’s whereabouts unknown (last image).
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