Chess - an introdution
Our chess collection is at the very heart of our family business for it was the simple request by the CEO of Alfred Dunhill in 1961 after our supply of miniature books and stationery items to his great luxury brand, that “could we make him a leather chessboard”, that we started on the road that has led us to being the best at what we do anywhere.
The specialist skill, so often overlooked in the leather colleges in those days of inlaying, has become our métier.
After that first chessboard we sought out the best in the business to match our craft-work to, this of course was John Jaques who have been inseparable from the famous Staunton design, since being chosen by the then World Chess Champion, Howard Staunton, to turn in beautiful woods and Ivory his now famous design which went on to become de-rigueur for all World Championship play from 1849 onwards and still holds that vaulted position today.
By the end of the Sixties we were as established as Jaques within chess circles, and when the much hyped clash between the current World Chess Champion and Russian, Boris Spassky, and the up and coming US Champion, Bobby Fischer, was set for Reykjavik in Iceland in 1972 which was the first time that chess had become a “gobal media event” , Geoffrey Parker was requested to provide the chessboard and boxes for the Championship. To this day different generations of Parker and Jaques still work together – our special Spassky/Fischer commemorative edition chess sets are examples of this long association.
Also during these days, Geoffrey, designed his special silver and silver-gilt chess set, which was delicately inlaid throughout in exquisite leathers. This went on to be awarded the Design Council award in 1977 for the sets made to celebrate HM The Queen's Silver Jubilee.
Although our focus is much aimed toward the Staunton design, we are happy to work with clients who require special boxes for their own playing pieces – a call to our Special Commissions department will get the ball rolling.