Alternative style chessmen

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Mats Winther
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Alternative style chessmen

Post by Mats Winther » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:10 pm

There is an Indian vendor on Ebay who makes reproductions of other piece designs than Staunton. The standard Staunton model is entirely dominant today, which is a little sad. I have collected some alternative designs here, many of which are quite attractive. These links will be valid as long as the items are listed. (But don't buy pieces made of ebony, because it is a threatened species, I believe.)

Dublin

Calvert (early 19th century)

Russian (Zagreb)

Austrian Coffee house (Vienna)

Modern cone design

Camel bone (Antique Calvert)

Edinburgh Upright

Modern Hour Glass

Staunton Taj

Antique Calvert

Columbian Staunton

Regence (French, Café de la Régence)

English Monoblock (1820)

Antique reproduction(?)

The Grand Divan

/Mats Winther

Reg Clucas
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Re: Alternative style chessmen

Post by Reg Clucas » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:07 pm

Mats Winther wrote: (But don't buy pieces made of ebony, because it is a threatened species, I believe.)
Are you confusing it with ivory? Ebony can come from various different species (though it wouldn't surprise me if they were all threatened).

Some quite attractive sets there. I don't go in much for exotic designs, but some of those that don't deviate too much from Staunton (e.g. the Russian Zagreb) are quite appealing.

Nick Burrows
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Re: Alternative style chessmen

Post by Nick Burrows » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:14 pm


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Mats Winther
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Re: Alternative style chessmen

Post by Mats Winther » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:19 pm

Wikipedia says: "Ebony is a dense black wood, most commonly yielded by several species in the genus Diospyros, but ebony may also refer to other heavy, black (or dark colored) woods from unrelated species. [...] As a result of unsustainable harvesting, many species yielding ebony are now considered threatened. Africa in particular has had most of its indigenous ebony cut down illegally, and for this reason it has become common for street traders to blacken lighter woods with shoe polish in an effort to make a sale."

However, this vendor is likely not selling African ebony, and it's uncertain what species it is.

They have a lot of different Staunton variants, too. I don't mind having unusually looking pieces, as long as I'm not playing with them, merely analysing, etc. I think certain variants qualify as pieces of art. They are very decorative. A beautiful chess set is a valuable decorative asset in a home, and it makes an impression of cultivation. I think that's why chess sets regularly turn up in films.

Mats


Anthony Appleyard
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Re: Alternative style chessmen

Post by Anthony Appleyard » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:55 am

Many years ago I bought a pictorial chess set in a wooden box. The pieces are black and white, probably plastic, with baize on their bases to stop sliding. They are;
R, tower with pointed roof, and grooves representing mortar between stones. N, rearing horse. B, church bishop with mitre & crozier. K & Q, mediaeval-type European king and queen. P, man sowing wheat seed from a bag.

I kept it well hidden, because my mother sometimes made covetous remarks about wanting the box to keep sewing stuff in.

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Mats Winther
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Re: Alternative style chessmen

Post by Mats Winther » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:36 pm

This set is specially designed for drunken players. I love this idea:
Wobble chess set.
/Mats

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