bw2Marcel Duchamp . Designs for Chessmen / Arensberg Chess Score (Buenos Aires, 1918)

“Duchamp’s passion for chess increased during his stay in South America. In a letter to Louise Arensberg from Buenos Aires dated January 7, 1919, he wrote: I have had a set of rubber stamps made (designed by me) wich I use to record games. A couple of months later, in a letter to Mrs. Arensberg and her husband Walter dated end March 1919 (also from Buenos Aires), he used the rubber stamps to indicate the firts moves of a chess game. The same stamps came into use when he sent a chess score to his friend Pierre de Massot in Paris, recording an endgame problem (Black: Lopez Martiny). The size of the sheet is 4 1/2 x 6 11/16” (10.5 x 17 cm), an indication that the designs were very small in scale. He seems to have had a stamp made for the chessboard as well.”

Arturo Schwarz in The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp (Delano Greenidge, 1997)