Gold and silver chess sets are not just for competition. These sets serve as decorative additions to homes or offices. Classic chess sets with design elements borrowed from historical periods and places convey an appreciation for history, culture, and art. Elegant metal sets may beckon players to a friendly game or serve as stately focal points or conversation pieces for a home or office.
Pewter and Metal Chess Sets
With so many available metal chess sets, it may be difficult to find just the right look and fit. Pewter and metal chess sets are popular choices. Some people might purchase a pewter or metal set strictly as a home or office accessory. These chess sets may rarely be used for playing. However, when the chess set will be used regularly, a classic, attractive set that is high-quality and durable is an excellent choice.
Brass chessmen are known for their high-polished look, so if the chess set will be selected to complement a formal setting, a brass set may be the preference. Pewter is a strong and versatile metal for chess sets. Pewter, a malleable metal, can be shaped easily by hammering or pressing. This characteristic makes it easier to craft chessmen with intricate details. Typically, pewter chess sets are less expensive than brass but are very durable and long-lasting. Metal chess sets can also be made of stainless steel and may be gold-plated or sterling silver-plated. The following sets are examples of sets with metal chessmen and boards made of metal and other materials.
At first glance, the Large Metal Renaissance Chess Set Featuring a Grey Gloss Board looks like a fine work of art more appropriate for admiring than for playing. This chess set has old world charm with generously-sized chessmen reminiscent of the period between the 12th and 17th centuries. Your friends will be impressed when you challenge them to play an occasional game using this chess board. In fact, this set is so striking that anyone who sees it may be content to gaze at it. Chess lovers will appreciate the intricate details and attention that have been given to the playing pieces. The chessmen crafted of gold and silver metals are classic pieces. The chess board features a sleek and glossy finish and works well with traditional or modern décor.
This fine chess board offers a 22-inch surface with two-inch Grey Briar veneer squares. The King pieces measure 5.5 inches. The chess pieces weigh 14.5 pounds, and the board weighs 8 pounds, for a total of 22.5 pounds for the set.
This unique set is a conversation piece for those who love both Egyptian history and chess. You will play in grand style with this elegant chess set. Designed with the thought and precision of ancient Egyptian art pieces, this gold and pewter chess set is a delightful addition to any space. The chessboard is regal in its design with an ornate silver base. Golden Egyptian Sphinx characters flank each of the four corners as if they are guardians of the board and the chessmen. Having a designated place to store chessmen protects them and keeps them from getting lost. This board provides generous storage space for the pieces. The playing surface offers 22-inch square with each smaller square measuring 1 5/8 inches. The king’s height is three inches with a base size of 1 13/16 inches.
The 14-inch Florentine Metal Chess Set and Storage Chest makes easy work of playing chess. The metal chessmen are fashioned of gold and silver metal. At 14 inches, the board is compact but comfortable. Some boards appear designed for occasional play, but this board is designed for enjoyment because it offers a bonus on the flip side. Turn the chessboard over for a game of backgammon. Please note that backgammon pieces are not included in this set. The chess set contains a three-inch metal king and 32 chessmen. It is made in Italy and the board is constructed of pressed leather with intricate designs around the board’s base. The base is constructed with convenient spaces for storing the chessmen with the board serving as a lid to cover the chessmen.
The Grace Inlaid Wood Board Game Featuring Metal Pieces is a medium size board measuring 12 x 12 x 3 inches. The squares are 1.2 x 1.2 inches. Including pieces, this set weighs 3.78 pounds. The height of the king is 2.5 inches, the weight is 0.7 ounces, and the base diameter of the king is .88 inches. The pawn height is 1.38 inches with a base diameter of 1.35 inches and a weight of 0.3 ounces. The chess pieces in this set are crafted of zinc alloy metal with silver and bronze finishes. The bottoms are weighted and padded with felt. The cabinet is made of eco-friendly birch wood. The set features interior storage which makes it convenient for protecting and keeping up with the pieces. The set includes the board, a set of 32 pieces, and playing instructions.
Chess aficionados who prefer the traditional look of a wood board coupled with sleek metal chessmen will love this Classic Game Collection Metal Chess Set and Deluxe Wood Board and Storage. The board measures 12 x 12, and the king measures 2.5 inches tall. The board features a classically crafted wood inlaid design. The detachable playing surface reveals convenient and protective storage for the chessmen in the base of the board. This board is perfect for a novice or veteran chess player.
Choosing Your Chessmen
The choice of chessmen depends on the purpose for the set, how it will be used, and personal preference. Many traditionalists prefer chessmen of the Staunton design. Staunton chessmen get their name from Howard Staunton, an English chess master. This style of chessman is used in competitions and are considered the standard. Staunton style chessmen are available in pewter and metal chess sets. Some individuals prefer chessmen influenced by historical characters, architecture or other emblems. Chessmen with more elaborate designs and carvings and those made of glossy metals tend to serve as accessories that are used occasionally for playing chess.
Durability, size, feel and the ability to recognize a piece are all critical when choosing chess pieces that will be used for regular chess play. The size of a chess piece should complement the board being used. For example, a king with a base diameter of 1.5 inches fits a 2-inch board square comfortably. To be on the safe side, choose a king base diameter that is not more than 75 percent of the square size. Weighted chess pieces may offer more flexibility. Weighted pieces can be easy for children to handle and work well in situations where pieces may be accidentally bumped, knocked over, or blown by the wind.
Another factor to consider in choosing chess pieces is whether a player might have difficulty distinguishing one piece from another. A person who may be visually impaired may find it hard to differentiate between pieces when all have intricate carvings or details which might make choosing a metal chessman with traditional designs. For ease of moving and to reduce the risk of scratching the board, many people prefer felt padded pieces to leather or other types of padding.
Choosing Your Board
If you prefer more of an eclectic chess set or need to replace a board, there are some factors you should consider. If the board is more of a decorative piece, a model constructed of glossy material may be appropriate. Some boards come with letters and numbers on the edges that help players identify squares, however, unless you are new at chess, you don’t need numbers or letters.
Boards may be constructed of all types of materials and finishes including wood, leather, and metal. The squares on the board should be large enough to fit your pieces with the king using about 75 percent of a square. Wood boards can be attractive but with frequent play are prone to scratching. Large boards are more suited for home or a place where they don’t require moving. Smaller, lightweight boards are more suitable for travel or casual play.
Brand and Price
There are hundreds of pewter and metal chess sets available and several companies that manufacture them. Some chess set makers have been around for a while, and others are more recent. Prices for metal chess sets can range from around $50 per set to more than $20,000 per set for high-end boards with chessmen made with gold or silver plating. If the chess set is primarily for accessorizing a space, you don’t have to worry about selecting one that would suffer wear and tear from frequent play. The key is to purchase the best board you can afford for your purpose. If your set will see a lot of play, select a good-quality unit with features that will withstand constant use.