In the 16th century the Mughal Emperor Akbar invaded the Indian subcontinent, conquering his enemies in a quite remarkable way.
Unlike his Mongol ancestor, Genghis Khan, who sacked and destroyed the towns he captured, Akbar sought to assimilate his new subjects and was fascinated by their various religious and cultural values. This is reflected in a set of ornate chess pieces in which each overtly expresses its unique identity. The tabletop rook, for example, is a revelation of originality in the Regency Chess Collection. Although still distinctively Staunton in shape, carved from solid rosewood, this outstanding chess piece is nothing if not ornate. And what of the knight, a chess piece many consider to be the most important attacker as well as zonal defender in a game of infinite possibilities. In the Garvi Series it is an arching horse that has been hand carved from the turned base upwards. Upon its curved neck is a thick mane, intricately carved. These two chess pieces are varying in their style, as many of Akbar’s subjects were, but there is one ornament in the Garvi Series that upholds the emperor’s own cultural identity.