The history of chess
The roots of modern day Chess have risen from a bed of luxury and high intelligence in the ancient world. The nobility of Persia, for example, dressed in fine linen and gold, were educated on the game from an early age. Respected elders believed that the game was tantamount with logical thought and development of the brain, while the high society of this early empire considered chess expertise a motif of excellence.
To have the game played with anything else than the finest materials was, subsequently, unthinkable. This opulent game would spread to the masses through the Islamic conquerors of Persia. From here the game, with pieces made of clay and stone, gained popularity further north through Spain and into the rest of Europe.
Roots in the 17th Century
The idea of luxury chess sets surfaced again in the 17th century, when Philip II of Spain would handsomely reward travelling masters for winning exhibition games. The luxury chess pieces here would be made from Incan Silver, Gold, Ebony and Ivory.
Of these exotic materials, we only use Ebony when creating the Regency luxury chess sets, as well as other luxury materials such as Red Sandalwood, Zinc, Brass and Briarwood.
In the case of Red Sandalwood and Ebony, especially, the cost of production is constantly on the rise because of their increasing rarity.
It follows, then, that purchasing one of these luxury chess sets represents a fantastic investment. And, while acknowledging the breathtaking qualities of these woods, at Regency we sell only ethically sourced wood from stockpiles that were felled many years ago.
Where are the Regency Luxury Chess Sets made?
The separate articles of these lavish sets arrive in Somerset from all over the world, before our product team matches them together to create luxurious chess sets defined by beauty, eclecticism and a sprinkle of wanderlust.
It is by no mistake that we source our high-end products from Spain, where luxury chess in Europe was first championed, as well as Italy, where the finest players of that 17th century era hailed from. None of those players would have had the chance to play the game had it not been first invented in India, which is where we import our luxury Ebony and Red Sandalwood pieces from.
When we receive these luxury chess pieces from the Indian Subcontinent, we then match them with a handmade board from either Spain or Italy. The result is a luxury chess set like no other, a compilation of outstanding chess craftsmanship, sourced from around the world and then compiled expertly in the heart of south west England.
A fine example is the Old English Elite Ebony and Briar Luxury Chess Set
Luxury Cast in Metal
Metal Chessmen are another unique feature of the Regency Luxury Chess Set Collection. For the past couple of years we have been working closely with Italfama in Florence, optioning to stock their brilliant brass and nickel Chessmen. Our Italian partners have a set of irreplaceable, 30 year-old moulds that they use to create these amazing pieces.
This unique method has ensured that only Italfama has the means to produce these chessmen, an exclusivity that certainly first attracted us to their work.
With the 4 Inch Maghreb Pieces we put together the aptly named Maghreb Brass and Walnut Traditional Chess Set, which also features a remarkable 20 Inch Walnut and Maple Chess Cabinet. Italfama are always coming up with amazing new products so keep an eye on the luxury metal chessmen here at Regency because the right set for you may well be on its way soon.