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Books Are The Fabergés: an open letter to my son

To my son,

Chess Grandmaster, Susan Polgar, Me, and my sonDidn’t we have a great time on Saturday, at the Princeton University Library?! I had never visited Princeton, so this was such a treat to spend my first visit there – with you. *heart*

I don’t think I told you how we actually were able to be in attendance at Fabergé Chess Set and Board, around 1905, Karl Gustav Hjalmar Armfelt, Finnish, Fabergé, St. Petersburg. this very exclusive event because quite frankly, I knew that "kids" weren’t invited. And initially, when Susan Polgar invited me to join her at the Chess Collector’s International seminar, I hesitated because I wanted YOU to be there with me. Well, I asked her and she said, "SURE!" Not to mention, I did not know what to expect, myself, and I was worried that you would be bored, but I was pleasantly surprised. 
When we saw the presentation from Dr. George Dean, I noticed we were both awed by his knowledge of the history behind his rare chess collections, and his unique storytelling ability. You’ll probably NEVER forget his Kenyan hunting experiences! Ha! I certainly won’t. Did you know he also donates to worthy causes? I hope one day, you too, will take a page out My son holding a rare chess book dated back to the 1400sof his book in the giving department. It’s so important! And what he, Dr. Dean (and Susan), gave you (and me) was a once-in-a-lifetime gift. The gift of knowledge. NEVER forget that.

Okay, then what made me really excited for you was the time we spent in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library. I had NO idea we would be able to touch those rare books – some which dated back to the 1400s! But watching YOU, my son, holding and cherishing those rare books made me think of one thing, and one thing only, BOOKS ARE the real FABERGÉs!  I know we were both impressed with Dr. Dean’s Fabergé chess boards (who wouldn’t be?), Mom and Son outside Princeton's Rare Books Collection Librarybut the books you were holding told the story of those chess boards.
Without being too mushy, words will never tell you how proud I am of you, my son.

Even though we got lost in New Jersey for two hours, 😉 I told you that WE would find this place together, and that we did.

(Fabergé Chess Set and Board, around 1905, Karl Gustav Hjalmar Armfelt, Finnish, Fabergé, St. Petersburg – Owned by Dr. George and Vivian Dean comes via Dia Museum) 


  1. A's mom says:

    Great Amy, I visited Princeton many years ago; did not see the library but my cousin worked for a very wealthy family who lived near Princeton campus. We were able to see from a distance Einstein (true story) who lived close to the family my cousin Emma worked for; I may have been all of 15 years old but I never forgot it. I’m sure my beloved John will always treasure your love for him & his interest in chess! love momma