Welcome to The Regency Collection
A Luxury Chess Piece is as historic as it is beautiful, with decedent chessmen a popular expense as far back as the 17th century. At this time, as Louis XIV expanded his royal court in Versailles, chess was dominated by Italian players.
The finest players among this group were invited by the nobility of Europe to play against other masters on the continent. The Royal observers would endow the winning players handsomely for their perceived intelligence. This was a time, after all, when the Scientific Revolution was taking hold and the world was becoming a larger, more exciting place both in mind and body.
In Europe, the aforementioned exhibition games were played with extraordinarily luxurious chess pieces made from materials from around the globe. Merchants were bringing home Ivory from west Africa and Incan silver from Peru, all of which were used to make chess pieces.
Although we do not stock any unethical materials such as ivory, the woods we use for the Regency Collection Luxury Staunton Pieces are as luxurious and rare as anything that has been used before.
One of the most visually stunning woods we use is Red Sandalwood, which is found almost exclusively in southern Indian mountain ranges such as the Shevaroy Hills and Kalrayan. The Eminence Series is a striking example of the quality that this rare wood holds, proven here in a set of heavy, lustrous chessmen that dominate the board. While Red Sandalwood grabs the eye with its brilliance, it is the deep, almost profound depth of color in Ebony wood that makes it stand out.
Found in India, Sri Lanka and West Africa, Ebony has long been a favourite with luxury craftsmen, from ancient Egyptian sculptors to the 16th century cabinetmakers of Antwerp. At Regency we use this dark wood in our Old English Elite, Monarch and Reykjavik Luxury Chessmen
In between the shades of Ebony and Red Sandalwood is the sultry, deep red of Rosewood. Our Rosewood is sourced from eastern India and, although it is sometimes used for medicine, we have stuck to making luxury chess pieces with this durable, handsome wood. The Sicilian Series is our inaugural Rosewood set although we have plans to add more in the near future.
Another wood we use for just one set is Sheesham, lighter in colour and also known as Golden Rosewood. This sustainable hard wood is the material we entrust with one of our best selling sets, the Madrid Series Sheesham and Boxwood Chessmen 4 Inches. These traditional pieces are well-liked by chess players looking for an understated yet quality luxury product.