Staunton is without doubt the most recognised style of chess piece in the world today. Designed in the mid 1800's it soon became the standard design for chess pieces and has been imitated ever since. There are now 1000's of variations of the Staunton theme available and new versions coming out every year. Our range of Staunton chess pieces are the finest you will find in the UK, sourced only from the worlds best producers where quality comes before price. Only the finest graded materials are used alongside expert craftsmanship to bring you the best quality chess pieces.
Wooden Staunton Chessmen
The mid 1800s saw the birth of the Staunton chess set, since then it's popularity has grown and never faded. It is now the most popular design of chessmen in the world. Those very early sets were made using ebony for the dark pieces and boxwood for the white pieces. These two woods were ideal because they were both dense and hard thus allowing intricate carving of the pieces. They are also very well contrasting against each other. Ebony being a superb deep black and boxwood being a lovely pale yellow colour.
In modern times ebony wood has become very expensive and quite rare, this now means that to buy real ebony Staunton chessmen is expensive. There has also been a taste for chessmen made from other materials including rosewood, sheesham wood, plastic, glass, marble and metal. It has also become popular to make a fake ebony set of chessmen. This process involves dying the pale boxwood black by soaking the wood in a chemical dye for a number of hours. The result is extremely convincing. Only by snapping the chess piece in half can you reveal that it's not real ebony.
We still find that wood is by far and away the most popular material people choose when they buy a set of Staunton chess pieces. But those that are not seeking the traditional look have a choice of others woods that are arguably much more attractive than plain black ebony wood. Red sandalwood for example is a rich red brown wood with deep grains and attractive figuring. It's a luxurious wood that makes for fine chessmen, although it's worth noting that it is currently more expansive than ebony.