Elaborate Designs, beautifully Executed
When assembling the Regency Chess Ornate Collection we had a long list of requirements, including quality, weight and durability. However, although this list was important, the primary objective was always to create a collection of extraordinary chess pieces.
We travelled the world looking for new additions and, along the way, found both the weird and the wonderful. With so many options we decided to narrow the search, agreeing that only pieces that have a ‘special personality’ would find their way into our collection.
So we left it up to the craftsmen of India, Spain, Italy and Poland to take our breath away; to design pieces that combine practicality with exuberance, playability with ornamental value, and longevity with immediate identity. The end result has been astonishing.
Some of the Ornate Chess Pieces in the Regency collection have designs that predate Staunton, while others are unique interpretations of the traditional shape. Our Art Deco pieces, for example, are a geometric and linear take on the Staunton design, offering a minimalist chessmen shape that feels good in the hand and looks great on the board. The more intricate Series are noticeable for their astonishing hand carved bodies, such as the Lotus Flower, Mogul Fretwork and Tower Chessmen.
All of these are worked on by expert craftsmen in Europe and Asia, using materials as rare and beautiful as the designs themselves.
Northern Upright Chess Pieces, a Regency Chess favourite, are made from blocks of solid Ebony, for example, while the bulbous Concentric Ball Chessmen are carved from Red Sandalwood. Two sets are even made from Camel bone, hand carved to create the Barley Corn and Kings Cross Series Chess Pieces. The fine detail etched into the bone is of an excellent quality and adds to the value of these rare pieces. Both of those Series are made using only ethically sourced bone from animals that have died from natural causes.
The most natural thing about the Ornate Collection, though, is the way all of the sets catch the eye. These are rare examples of outstanding craftsmanship that are unlikely to be seen again. Many of the pieces have been designed specifically for this collection and we are inclined to sell only a limited number.
The idea behind the Ornate Collection was to curate a range that represents well the global evolution and appeal of Chess since the game began. And, with some pieces inspired by Far Eastern motifs, some made from Camel Bone, and some minimalised futuristically, we believe we have done just that.