“Chess pieces are like comfortable loveable companions”
The traditional version of Chess has been an inexhaustible treasure for over 500+ years, developed and modified during the Renaissance into a game, played by many gentlemen of fair estate and fortune - Kings and Queens, Princes, Princesses, Dukes, Generals, Regents, Presidents, Academics and School children alike. Many cultures have produced sets of exceptional craftsmanship and beauty thus delighting the aesthetic sense. At the turn of this century, Kings, Queens and European nobility had Chess sets of rock crystal intricately handcrafted with antiqued silver plate or delicately painted by hand to capture every lovely feature.
Many charming hand painted sets have been produced which are a vision of grace and beauty, magnificently sculpted in fine bisque and Tesori porcelain (a blend of powdered porcelain and resins), some accented with multi-faceted crystal, others forever captured in carefully tooled wood carvings with the boards resplendent with inlaid oak, mahogany or rosewood veneers, solid brass fittings and finally those encrusted with semi-precious jewels, found today in places such as Van Cleef & Arpels of Paris or Tiffanys of New York.
The artistry involved in producing these Chess sets has only been rivaled by the priceless creations of Peter Carl Faberge who crafted his Regency, Imperial, and Alexandra eggs in shimmering springtime colours and lavishly accented them with regal 22 carat gold or carefully sculpted and hand-painted them down to the tiniest details with blushes of soft pink and powder blue. The Staunton pattern is a pulchritudinous example now in use for 150+ years.
When evening falls, and it is time for a well deserved rest, there is nothing quite like these Chess pieces which are like comfortable loveable companions.
It enhances many a home with its beauty and mystique and many feel a sense of family with this pattern. Born of medieval legend, this is a Chess set of supreme quality, capturing romance and drama, myth and magic on the battlefield of the fateful game of Kings. Clean, clear, well distinguished without being ornate, quite rewarding to the touch and responsive to the move.
They are individually well proportioned, and formally inter-related by means of classical balusters, crowning balls and grooves that, in elevation are either at the same height or at equally measured intervals.
The graduated height of the pieces, although singularly unexpressive of relative power, contributes to the architectonic composition of the whole. And beyond that, the natural symbolism is well expressed - the Knight and the Rook are obvious - the more abstract shape of a Bishops headdress suggestive of a mitre - the crowns of the King and Queen imperiously clear and the pippalie of the Pawns indicative of suckling babies.
The boundless scope of abstraction in representing mythological and historical themes has been used by artists, writers and film makers to suggest an intellectual atmosphere or to express a particular mood such as contemplation, reflection or, the joie de vivre.
The history of Chess has been coloured by the contribution of many countries and furnishes a deep sense of continuity with the intellectual community of bygone ages.
Chess and the figurants who grace its stage are the land of imagination, imagery motifs, mythological patterns, shamanic journeys and initiations and a complicated interactive event. It is a magical place where you can ride on fluffy white clouds wearing a dreamy expression on your face, moving your pieces as you play your favorite game of make believe.
Western Chess has been a recreation of many of the worlds luminaries including:
01 Charlemagne 02 King Canute 03 Sir Walter Raleigh 04 Shakespeare 05 Ben Johnson 06 Leibnitz 07 Voltaire 08 Rousseau 09 Peter the Great 10 Fredrick the Great 11 Napoleon 12 Buckle (the historian) 13 Benjamin Franklin 14 Dickens 15 Ruskin 16 R.L. Stevenson 17 Lenin 18 Bonar Law 19 Fritz Kreisler 20 H.G. Wells 21 Charles Boyer 22 Humphrey Bogart 23 Neil Diamond 24 John Wayne 25 George C. Scott 26 Bob Dylan 27 Our man in Havana - Fidel Castro 28 Leo Tolstoy 29 and YOU! - and too many contemporaries to mention.