These chess sets were made in the late 1970's and were recently found and made available for sale. About 25 sets were recently found and most have the original sleeve with the Geppetto label on it.
Frances' father started his company Geppetto Industries around 1970 when she was a very young girl. He loved chess and had been Navada State chess champion when he decided to make chess boards and then also the pieces.
He laughs now when he says that he didn't realize the process for making pieces was so completely different in tools and machinery than for making boards. Had he known, he probably would have only made the boards. Yet he designed the pieces himself so as to be simple enough for him to make in quantity while still being recognizable as traditional pieces. He was also influenced by minimalist sculpture of the time.
Her father's shop was in Oakland California for about 10 years and at the height of it's operation employed 18 people including Frances. They made name plates for Bank of America, knife handles for Ulu in Alaska, and others. In the 1980's things wound down.
Frances doesn't know how many chess sets were made or sold, but her father says that 200 of his best were burned up in the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 which also burned their house down.
About the set
The dark pieces and dark squares on the board are all made from walnut. The light pieces on the board are made from ash. Most of the light pieces are also made from ash, but there is also some oak mixed in. He also used a batch of koa wood for some of the pieces.
- King height
- Pawn height
- Board size
- Includes chessboard, pieces
A storage box for the chessmen that will compliment the set is available separately. See options on this page.