Royal Chess Sets
History of Royal Chess Sets
The usage of kings and queens in chess goes back to the oldest forms of the game, long before the 15th century when chess shaped into the game it is today. However, the use of the royal pieces—namely the king and queen—has changed throughout chess’s long history. For example, the queen piece was not one of the most important pieces in the game during the first few centuries of chess! The piece that stood in the queen’s stead was named ‘vezir’, which means ‘adviser’, and moved in a very limited matter, not playing a crucial role in the outcome of the match. Before chess travelled to Europe, in some cultures, it was forbidden to have a female character on the board. It was not until later that the queen piece was introduced, and given additional moves and directions, which caused it to become a more critical piece in the game.
Another notable historical fact about a royal chess set is the presence of ornamental figures in place of standard faceless Staunton pieces. From the 15th century to the mid-19th century, it was not uncommon for royal pieces to be much more ornamental and detailed. Some pieces were even based on real-life kings and queens, ranging from Elizabeth I to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. These types of exquisitely made, detailed pieces definitely gave a new meaning to the phrase “royal chess set’!Read More