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A Brobdingnagian Chess-Piece

The Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1346, p. 571.

December 9, 1865

A BROBDINGNAGIAN CHESS-PIECE.--The Philadelphia Daily Evening Bulletin gives the following laughable description of the monstrous knights which have been carved for the new chessmen in use at the Mercantile Library in Philadelphia:--"Hydrocephalus.--We hope our Mercantile Library friends will not think us over-captious if we refer to the improvement (!) recently made in the chessmen used in that popular resort. Some new artist has been at work, who has produced a Knight which would turn our friend Staunton's hair grey in a single hour, if that honourable distinction has not already been awarded to him by Father Time. The Wooden Horse of Troy was a baby compared to this Mercantile Knight. Gigantic in stature, he looks down with ineffable scorn at the puny Rook by his side. Misshapen in proportion, he should be called, not Bucephalus, but Hydrocephalus! To give the odds of such Knights is equal to an ordinary Rook, and the only way to deal with them is to change them off early in the game, as no other pieces can be seen until they are removed from the board."

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