Themed Chess Pieces
Themed chess pieces are ones designed with various aesthetic themes in mind, ranging from classical chess to historical figures to novelties such as pieces based on popular movies and television shows. Next to traditional pieces, they are some of the most popular types of chess pieces available today. Roman chess pieces, medieval chess pieces and other ones are treasured by collectors from around the world.
There are many different types of themed pieces that can be purchased as part of complete sets or individually without boards. If you want to know more about the history behind them, the most common types available as well as the best tips for buying your own, consider the following guide.
History of the Chess Piece
The standardized chess pieces that most people recognize today are a relatively new invention. Throughout most of the long history of chess, pieces were individually made according to the personal tastes of the maker or the person who commissioned the chess set. The commissioner would often have chess pieces made to suit their personality, family or simply their personal tastes.
In the mid 19th century, however, the development of the now-standardized Staunton chess set led to the industrialization of chess pieces as a whole. It became the status quo for chess sets to be made in identical or nearly identical styles to Staunton and other traditional chess sets, and personalized chess sets faded in popularity.
However, in the 20th century, an increase in the popularity of the game as both a competitive and personal hobby led to an increased in themed chess pieces. In the later half of the 20th century, themed pieces became even more common as tie-ins for popular entertainment, such as film and television.
Common Types of Themed Chess Pieces
There are two primary types of themed chess pieces: antiquity/history themed and novelty themed. Antiquity/history themed pieces include pieces modeled after ancient Greece, ancient Rome, historical kings and queens and so on. Novelty themed pieces are any themed pieces made after popular movies, TV shows, or other entertainment. For instance, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings both have their own themed chess sets.
Tips for Buying Themed Chess Pieces
Buying a chess piece can be a personal decision, especially if you are looking to add medieval chess pieces, roman chess pieces or other themed pieces to your personal collection. If you plan on purchasing themed pieces, consider the following tips to get you started:
Purchase whole sets in favor of individual pieces to save money
You can often save money by purchasing an entire themed set rather than purchasing pieces individually, so if you are looking to save money, consider buying the entire set at once.
Consider different materials for less expensive pieces
If you would love a themed chess piece set but don’t want to spend extravagantly, look for options made with plastic and similar inexpensive materials. These sets are less expensive to produce and will have a less expensive cost to consumers than pieces made with metal or hand-carved wood.
And don’t forget to shop around and compare prices at different chess shops to make sure you are getting the best prices!