In the Italian villages of Gaiole, Radda and Castellina, where slopes of vineyard blanket Tuscan hillsides, oak has been used for more than 600 years to age and store the region’s famous wine.
Just up the road in Florence, where the first bottle of Chianti was ever sold, the same oak is used by the chess craftsmen of Italfama.
Here they use it to create the foundations of a luxury chess set upon which they place gold and silver.
The board is hand made, just like the chess pieces, not because it has to be but rather because it should be.
Oak has been an ally of Tuscan luxury for half a century, and the people here have a deep seated, innate respect for its quality, longevity and value. As a result our Regency Chess customers can expect to own an ornate chess set that will last for generations. In fact, this Italian chess set’s permanence, as much as its beauty, was a primary reason we decided to stock it.
At 19 inches, including the intricately carved border, this oak chessboard holds its place well without contravening a room’s natural atmosphere. There is an almost understated extravagance to it. The patterning is classical without being exuberant, the coloration elegant without pomposity and the playing surface rustic but not worn.
After creating such a wonderful chess board Italfama had the unenviable task of crafting a set of metal chess pieces worthy to sit upon it. Naturally, their starting point was gold and silver.
Gold and Silver Chessmen
The San Severeo Chess Pieces are cast from 30-year old Italfama moulds before being coated in Gold and Silver plating. The actual design is not too far away from the classic Staunton Chessmen shape, with a recognizable Bishop, Knight and Rook all featured. The Royal pieces, too, are quickly identifiable. What is uncommon in these metal chess pieces is the quality in which they are made. The top of each piece is screwed through a solid oak midriff and into its corresponding base.
There is no glue or sealer involved. Essentially the San Severeo Chessmen are built to last, which is why the Florentine craftsmen construct them from oak, gold and silver.