Sales of chess sets have skyrocketed since the release of Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit – new lockdown hobby, anyone? Pick up a few skills and accessorise your home with one of these luxury chess sets that double as art pieces:
Hermès: Horsecut chess set
Fans of modernist design will be delighted by this natural and indigo-tinted maple wood chess set by Hermès. Their ‘small model’ is a dainty 36cm x 36cm with geometric pieces that sit on a cylindrical base, making for an interesting view from above.
Those partial to a more timeless appeal can opt for Louis Vuitton’s monogram chess set, which comes in a monogrammed briefcase inspired by their iconic Président Classeur. The interior holds a removable game board made of VVN (vachetta) leather, as well as wooden game pieces nestled in an eye-catching red microfibre interior.
Marcel Wanders for Baccarat: Jeux de Cristal chess set
Looking for a statement piece? The Jeux de Cristal chess set – a collaboration between French luxury glassmaker Baccarat and innovative Dutch designer Marcel Wanders – should not be missed. The elegant black and white marble chessboard with black and clear crystal playing pieces will no doubt catch your eye. If you want more of this aesthetic, take note – there are four other games in this collection.
Carne Griffiths x Purling London Art Chess ‘Water, Air, Earth & Fire’
For something truly unique and one-off, check out this collaboration between luxury games maker Purling London and British artist Carne Griffiths, who specialises in working in ink, tea and alcohol. This hand-painted chess set is made of boxwood, with tea, ink, varnish, Italian Nappa leather, and 18 carat gold. At 55cm x 55cm, its chessboard is the largest on this list.
Geoffrey Parker’s re-introduction of their Queen’s Silver Jubilee chess set features a watersnake leather-cladded box with matching black and white playing surface. The box holds handmade metal chess pieces, also inlaid with leather.
Feeling extra? Request the original design: chess pieces of sterling silver with three microns of gold leaf plating, and a matching chessboard with a sterling silver-gilt frame, also inlaid with leather. This set can also be made entirely of sterling silver or solid gold, along with two suede-lined leather-bound book-boxes to store your playing pieces.
For all the Tolkienites out there: this is Malaysian pewter maker Royal Selangor’s portrayal of a stand-off in Middle-Earth, on a wood and pewter-marqueted chessboard, of course. The pewter-casted chess pieces feature Aragorn and Galadriel, with their band of Ents, wizards and Hobbits, against the copper-plated horde of Sauron, Shelob, Saruman, Gollum, dragons and Orcs.