Seventh Seal chess set fetches $150,000

The chess set that actor Max von Sydow used to play against Death in The Seventh Seal have sold for one million Swedish krona ($150,000 Cdn) at an auction in Stockholm.

The chess set that actor Max von Sydow used to play against Death in The Seventh Seal has sold for one million Swedish krona ($150,000 Cdn) at an auction in Stockholm.

The set is one of 337 items belonging to Oscar-winning director Ingmar Bergman over a two-day period.

The director of Cries and Whispers and Scenes from a Marriage asked that his belongings be sold after his death to prevent them from being caught up in "some kind of emotional hullabaloo."

In 1957's The Seventh Seal, a crusader played by von Sydow delayed his own death by engaging the Grim Reaper in a game of chess.

At one point, he sweeps his cape across the table and the pieces fall, with the white king breaking in two.

The chess set sold for 50 times the estimated price, despite lacking that white king.

"This is, above all, a testimony to how great he still is and how proud we should be of our Ingmar Bergman," said Carl Barkman, head curator at Bukowski's, which arranged the auction.

Almost 8,000 people filed through the Stockholm auction house to look at Bergman's collection. The auction was held Monday and Tuesday morning.

The auteur director , who won Oscars for The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly and Fanny and Alexander died in 2007 at age 89.

His numerous film prizes and awards, a bedside table covered in his notes and a desk on his scripts were among the items auctioned.

The auction raised 18 million krona ($2.8 million). Among the items sold:

  • A red devil jumping jack, $4,490.
  • A wooden model of Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre, with a tiny model of Bergman inside it, $160,000.

The 34-hectare property where Bergman lived on the remote Swedish island of Faro is also for sale by Christie's Great Estates in London.

With files from The Associated Press