Early German Fruitwood Bust Chess Set
A new favorite of ours
Some features to note, kings crowns made of metal and the carved face masks on their tunics, the 'flipper' type arms/hands on the queens , the soft caps with feathers on the bishops, the elaborate hippocamp knights and the most unusual from of the rooks.
The dress style appears to be from the Renaissance period and possibly Italian - see image below of Renaissance wood carving of a woman with a similiar carving style and rich patina.
Also the carved face masks on the shoulders and chests of both kings,apparently were a feature of North Italian carvings from around 1500 - see image and description from Sotheby's Old Master Sculpture Auction of December 2015.
More research is needed on this set and observations are most welcome from fellow collectors - we would be particularly interested in any information regarding the significance of the flipper type arms on the queen pieces.