Marcel Duchamp item for sale

Recently our chairman received an e-mail with an extraordinary offer, a work by the famous artist Marcel Duchamp. As you may have guessed already, it’s only for solvent clients ...

This is the text of the a.m. email by Mrs Virginia Green:

I recently came across an article by Edward Winter entitled "Chess Statues and Sculpture" in which Martin Weissenberger was quoted. I was looking for Mr. Weissenberger's current email as he once asked me to try and find a Duchamp Pocket Chess Set. The article caught my attention because I have a client who recently has decided to sell a most important chess sculpture made with the participation and approval of Marcel Duchamp.

Mr. Weissenberger was kind enough to refer me to The Ken Whyld Foundation and Chess Collectors International whom he said might know of a client for this work.

I am offering is the unique plaster prototype of Cast Alive used to cast the bronze edition, with notes in Duchamp's hand on the chessboard and signed and dated by him.

Please find the description of Duchamp's Cast Alive taken verbatim from the catalogue raisonné of Duchamp's works written by Arturo Schwarz:


The original plaster made with life casts of Duchamp’s face and right arm by Alfred Wolkenberg. The Knight was cast from a piece in Duchamp’s favorite chess set. Overall height ca. 21 ½ in. (54.6 cm); base 16 ¾ x 9 ¼ in. (42.5 x 23.5 cm)

In 1967 Editions Les Maitres, New York, under Duchamp’s supervision, issued an edition of 9 sets (six numbered I/VI to VI/VI and three artist’s proofs numbered EA 1/3 to EA 3/3) cast in bronze with the chess board composed of onyx and black Belgian marble. Arturo Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, NY: Greenridge, 1997, 3rd revised edition, no. 638.

I am enclosing images of the work itself as well as some documentary photos.

The price is $1.800.000. If you yourself or any of your colleagues might be interested in acquiring this unique work, and need further information, don't hesitate to contact me. The work can be viewed in New York City at your convenience.

All the best, Virginia Green

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