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The House of Hauteville Chess Set was inspired by the adventurous Normans who invaded Italy in the Eleventh Century. It is an artist's dream come true. ChessHouse brings you artist Carolyn Cavanaugh's design, now produced in limited quantities right here in the USA. Her masterpiece is now available to chess collectors and artists. An initial production was donated to the Smithsonian's benefit auction and brought in over $500.
"The inspiration for this set came from a friend who asked me to make a mantle piece based on a pawn
she had seen in a book by John Norwich. I read the book, The Normans in Sicily, and fell in love with the
idea of these brave men. The knights and the pawn are directly based on some 11th century Norman wood
chessmen that have been preserved at The Biblioteque de National in France. The other pieces are original
imaginings. I gave the king a cat because there is a saying (of later vintage) that "a cat may look upon a
king." The queen has a hawk because she is a warrior woman. I've named the king and queen after the
famous warrior duo, Robert Guiscard and his wife Sichelgaita. I often refer to the knights as Tancred and
Drogo, also names in the Norman Hauteville family."
"I once attended a lecture by Lord Norwich at the Smithsonian. He was not talking about his book on the
Normans, but about his mother. Nonetheless I arranged to have someone at Smithsonian give him the six little
figures to take home with him. He wrote me a letter of thanks and said he keeps them on the mantle. John
Julius Norwich is a brilliant writer and has many wonderful books to his credit."
- Carolyn Cavanaugh; Creator of The House of Hauteville Chess Set
The House of Hauteville chess pieces are handcrafted entirely in the US. The pieces are substantial from 3 to 5 inches tall and are ideal with a chessboard of at least 2" squares. Each piece was originally modeled in clay, then molded and reproduced in wax. The wax patterns were refined for better detail and final molds were made for reproduction. They are cast in stone resin.
These chessmen are designed for the enjoyment of all - the serious player and the collector. We hope everyone will enjoy the artistry and humor of the work.
The recommended chessboard for these chessmen is the 21" Hardwood Player's Chessboard and is handcrafted in the USA from premium walnut and maple with a lacquer finish for an ultra smooth playing experience and display quality.
- King height: 5"
- King weight: 7.7 oz
- Base size: 1 7/8"
- Pawn size: 3 3/8"
- Bases felted with four black dots
- Weight: 9+ pounds. Weight varies slightly from set to set.
- Made of marble resin.
- 32 pieces - 1 Queen per side
Not happy with this chess set.
The felt bottoms were put on off centered on many pieces.
The White Queen leans towards her left, Is that the way She is supposed too lean.
Like the design. Check the way the felt pads are applied.
Square ones would balance the pieces better. Could I replace the ones that were applied? Get back to me on this......Please
Classy and well constructed chess pieces
Great quality. They look very cool on my board. Fast service from the company.
Beautiful chess pieces! Love the detail,texture,and weight of the pieces!! Gives the game an ancient feeling,nostalgic play!! The only problem I have with the pieces is that the Chess House inspection people screwed up and gave me two of the same brown knights!!! They were supposed to be two different looking knights. Just disappointed for the money i spent ($310). Now when i set up to play i have to look at the white knights and see the difference between them but when you look at the brown knights you can't help but see the difference!!! Don't trust sending the pieces back just in case they get lost or misplaced!! For the money i wish they had paid closer attention to what pieces they were packaging!!! That's my only complaint. The pieces are awesomely manufactured!!! If someone from Chess House reads this maybe someone can fix my issue with the same brown knights i was sent!!? Thank you for your time and possible help??!
Great Product/even better Folks behind the scenes!!