Before one of our craftsmen can create one of our luxury sets, he needs to have already created many hundreds of wooden chess pieces. Itís only this extensive experience that provides the skills needed to craft a piece that is utterly perfect, uniform and totally beautiful.
The intricate carving of wood is a dying art in most corners of the world, which is why our highly skilled knight carvers are so vitally important to our chess piece creation.


kings finials

The Finial is the small cross or similarly shaped piece that sits on top of the king. Traditionally the finial was always a cross and most sets of chessmen follow this convention. On sets of luxury chessmen the finial is always a separate piece of wood with a tapered pin that attaches it into the king. Chess set designers often use the finial as an expression of their design skills and use it show off how intricate and detailed their wood working can get. By its very nature the finial is always very small so it requires highly skilled and expert craftsmanship to create.

Some of the super luxury sets in The Regency Collection are supplied with more than one finial. It is possible for the owner of the set to remove and replace the finial at their leisure. When a chess set creator creates a new design of finial that's flamboyant and defies convention it's normal for a more traditional one to be included in the set for the more conservative among us. It's also not unusual for finely crafted finials to be made from multiple pieces of turned or carved wood.

The finial is of course a very important design element on any chess set, but particularly on sets with a luxury premium. Each finial should be crafted to the highest possible standards with a flawless finish and seamless construction.

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A knight carver will typically spend an entire day on just one knight and the same carver must make all four knights in a set to guarantee perfect uniformity.
Our craftsmen know that when they pick up a block of ebony or sandalwood they are holding something rare and valuable in their hands. They must use their skills and years of experience to turn it into something uniquely beautiful and ultimately priceless.


Knight Designs

The Knights, or horses, in a chess set are always the flagship pieces. They are the pieces that require the most hand carving work and the most detail. The very early Knights on Staunton chessmen were elegant and well carved. But as the years have gone on knight carving has become something of an obsession among chess piece designers, often desperate to out do each other when it comes to detail and accuracy. On top end luxury chess sets such as those found in The Regency Collection you will see flowing mains, detailed gums, teeth and highly realistic muscle definition.

One of the key factors with a luxury chess set is the uniformity of the knights. Obviously a chess set must contain four knights, and it's expected that each one will be virtually identical. The Knights on our chessmen are still carved by hand using painstaking methods to ensure that each one is virtually identical. A knight carver will typically have many years of experience at wood carving and in the case of super luxury chessmen take a whole day to carve just one knight.

Many say that a chess set can be judged according to the quality of the knights, indeed the level of detail in them will often determine the price of the entire set. Of course the knights are never the only factor that determine the premium of a chess set, all the other pieces must be equally well matched in terms of quality, design and ultimately their level of perfection.