The famous sequel of the not less famous "Alice in Wonderland" called "Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There" by Lewis Carroll has a very detailed description of a chess game with unique pieces which are rather to be called separate characters. One Ukrainian ivorycutting master was inspired to create a special table and a set of chess pieces for this particular game by his daughter's interest to Carroll's tales.
This curious and indisputable very talented guy is design engineer of nonstandard equipment by his background so the first thing he decided to create was a unique mechanism of opening of the table and appearance of the board itself. It was decided that this should be driven solely by mechanical power with no electric motors. The mechanism appeared to be extremely out of date but still hand-made with the same carefulness as the unique chess pieces. The stunning impression is caused with a 40-second show starting when you turn a flamingo-head-shaped handle. First of all beautiful woodcurved hatch is slowly opened and then a plate-glass board with chessmen comes up. After the game is finished all the stuff moves inversely.