I am writing today on a muggy day in Frome, Somerset, with the sun’s warmth thickening the air through a blanket of white clouds. A bit sticky, in other words.
Last month, when the sun was freer, we received a shipment from Florence, Italy, where some old friends had decided to do something pretty remarkable. For a number of years now we have been working with ITALFAMA and have always been impressed with their chess products. In Tuscany, for more than 30 years, their craftsmen have been making chess pieces from unique moulds that are unavailable anywhere else in the world.
The exclusivity is of course something that appeals to us, but there is a real sense, also, that this is a company that really makes great products. When it comes to chess pieces they specialize in metal, creating some amazing casted chessmen that we proudly sell here at Regency Chess.
However, when the most recent order came in even our delivery coordinator, John, who has plenty of experience with ITALFAMA products, was fascinated by what they had sent.
The first product was the San Severeo Chess Set, which features Chess Pieces made of Gold and Silver, and a stunning board made of oak. The fact that the pieces cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world was almost besides the point -they are made out of gold and silver- with an oak midriff like nothing any of us had seen before.
And, although the San Severeo Chess Set caught the eye, it was another sense that the Modica Set first affected.
As it was removed from the box this Italian chess board filled the room with a heartening scent of real leather. In Florence the artisans at Italfama had stitched together an exceptional chess board that, when it comes to this famous company, is reliably unique. Deciding to match it with 3 inch Modica Rosewood Chess Pieces wasn’t a bad idea either. So we sent an example of these products off to our photographer in Bath, who came back to us with some fantastic pictures for the website soon after.
Both sets have already sold well, in Europe and the UK, and we are expecting that to continue as Christmas draws ever closer. (last time I will mention Christmas, promise)
Closer still, though, is the continuously enhanced sense that great relationships produce great products. Our work alongside ITALFAMA is the perfect example of this and we look forward to it continuing past this Christmas (sorry! one last mention) and many more. If you would like to take a sneaky look at some other Italian-made chess products you can click on these links.