These chess pieces are reproductions of the Isle of Lewis chessmen. In 1831 the sea carried away a sandbank on the Isle of Lewis uncovering a mysterious building that had been buried under the sand. A peasant working nearby found what he concluded to be a collection of Elves and Gnomes. The superstitious highlander flung down his spade and fled home in horror. Superstition in Lewis had survived in a powerful form. Thus, when the peasant first looked at the group of singular little ivory figures it was natural that they should appear as the pigmy sprites of Celtic folklore. However, he was induced by his wife to return to the spot and take the figures home. He sold them to a local collector who realised they were chessmen. There were 78 pieces in all belonging to eight or more sets. This set does not include a chess board. Studio Anne Carlton have recreated some of these pieces to make a truly re-markable set in an Ivory tone and an antiqued burgundy finish.
The high skill of the designers, sculptors andcraftsmen of SAC shines through in our collection of UK handmade chess sets andEuropean chess boards. The richness of finish and attention to detailcontribute to the success of the beautiful products from the SAC range, whichare appreciated on five continents.
The chess sets are mainly produced in two finishesmade from crushed stone poly resin. Hand painted sets where only certain partsare coloured by hand, whilst some areas remain plain, allowing for the naturalmaterial to be exposed after a light coloured wash of paint. Our regular setsare in a burgundy and cream plain finish with a light dark wash to emphasisethe detail in the pieces. The chess sets do not come with the chess board whichneed ordering separately.
Studio Anne Carlton, SAC,was first established in 1969 to manufacture and distribute traditional gameswith the emphasis on chess sets. In 2003 the manufacturing production of thepoly resin chess sets was moved to China, with design and development remainingin the UK. In May 2014 the Ancestors® Group acquired the rights tomanufacture and distribute the SAC range of decorative sets and classic gamesunder their own brand Timeline®.
Ancestors®, beinga manufacturer of heritage products in the UK and casters in pewter were ableto move the SAC brand into new areas of distribution and introduce, over thecourse of time, new products including English Pewter Chess Sets. Allproduction of the chess set pieces is now in the UK and a far superior productis now produced.
SAC, UK made, chesspieces are highly sought after in the collectable markets. The fact that thesehighly prized pieces are completely handmade makes volume production out of thequestion. Consequently many of the earlier and discontinued sets are returningsubstantial prices when appearing at auction. The sets are avidly collected byenthusiasts all over the world.
Standard Chess sets do not include a chess board.SAC are very pleased to be able to provide a range of chess boards especiallyhand made in Europe using highly skilled craftsmen producing boards made to fitour sets in a variety of styles, finishes and including boards with space toaccommodate and protect the SAC chess pieces. Also available are a range ofhigh quality wooden games.