House of Hauteville Chess Set and Board Combo - Antique White and Brown Marble   Free Shipping  

Product Code: HCCV101

  • $799.00 USD


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Product Details

The House of Hauteville Chess Set 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 of chessmen 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 Chessmen
The Pieces: 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 pieces are handcrafted entirely in the US. The pieces are substantial from 3 to 5 inches tall and are ideal with a chessboard with at least 2" squares. Designed for the enjoyment of all, the serious player and the collector, we hope everyone will enjoy the artistry and humor of this impressive work.
  • 32 pieces
  • Made of marble resin.
  • King size: 5"
  • Pawn size: 3 1/4"
  • Base size: 1 7/8"
  • Bases felted with four green dots
  • Weight: 9+ pounds. Weight varies slightly from set to set.

The Board: Perfect for chess players and admirers this is one of the finest US made solid wood chess boards handcrafted from locally sourced walnut and maple hardwoods.

The family in Pennsylvania has a rich heritage of woodworking and farming. Originally from Switzerland, the skills were passed down through five generations. This remarkable lost art of woodworking is continually refined, blending timeless methods with the latest knowledge on living wood behavior.

Styling - Players will enjoy the subtle grooves and beveled edges on this chess board. It's a great gift to pair with almost any suitably sized wooden pieces.

Size - 21" square chess board with 2 1/4" squares.

More about the board. The creator of this chessboard has studied wood movement extensively. Wood is "living" after it is cut down, not a rigid block. Due to the circular ringed nature of a tree, the direction of cuts is very important to the natural expansion and contraction of the wood as humidity levels change from one environment to another. This unique expansion of both woods used in this work of art, require great attention in every phase.

Care. It can be helpful to store or display the chessboard vertically so that equal temperature and humidity is applied to both upper and lower sides of the wood. A light lacquer finish is applied for furniture style smoothness, and a soft, dry cloth should be used to wipe the surface dust free.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Larry Beane

I find the Chess Set beautifully made. The facial expressions are life like . The weight and the size of the pieces are good for handling.
Th Detail is excellent. I find it to be a Collector's Item, so it is displayed when not in use.

Jennifer Misko
Beautiful Set!

I bought this as a gift for my boyfriend and he absolutely loves it! The details on the pieces are amazing. The packaging was impressive as well. Each piece was individually wrapped, the board had layers of bubble wrap, and the box had packing peanuts for extra cushion.

I know some reviews mention the pads on the bottom of the pieces, but we did not have any issues. Each piece stands perfectly fine on the attached felt circle.

Olivier Dunrea

I absolutely love this chess set! The pieces are beautifully designed and produced. Each piece was carefully wrapped individually to prevent damage. None of the pieces were damaged. The packing of the set in its box inside the shipping box was carefully done. The set arrived quickly. The chess set truly is a work of art. I love the weight and heft of each piece. As a book designer and illustrator I appreciate products that are beautifully designed and well made. This chess set is perfect in every way.

Very impressed and very satisfied

With all the online purchases we all make an occasional poorly wrapped item resulting in damage to your purchase would surprise no one. The first thing I noticed when I received my chess board and chess set was the effort made to protect my purchase between The Chess House and my front door. I am very happy to report there was no damage to any of the 32 chess pieces and no damage to the chess board. I understand the concern expressed about the felt bottoms for the chess pieces. This is easy to correct by the purchaser but this should be addressed by the manufacturer of the chess pieces. This small detail disappoints otherwise very impressed owners of this chess set.
This much detail in a wooden chess set would have been very expensive. Buying a non wooden chess set was a concern for me. The weight of each piece is impressive. All the pieces are large. I wanted a chess set that is easily distinguished from a standard, familiar Staunton Chess Set and yet each piece is immediately recognizable. For any one who plays chess there is no doubt which chess piece is the king, the queen, the bishop, the knight, the castle and the pawn. Even a person who has never seen a Staunton Chess Set can identify each piece.
I was concerned about the size of the board The Chess House matched w this chess set. Would the size of the individual squares on the board and the overall size of the board itself cramp the movement of the chess pieces during a game of chess? Once I played a game of chess my concerns were eliminated. A larger chess board may be too large. I also purchased a storage bag for the chess board to protect it when its not set up for a chess game. I wish a storage box for the chess pieces is available. These chess pieces cannot be stored in a bag or in one compartment without risking damage. I am very happy w this chess set, chess board and chess board storage bag.

Rick P

I’ve got to agree with the previous reviewer that this chess set is high grade and yes, the pieces’ facial expressions are the best! I love the weight of the pieces (heavy!) but yes, the round felt dots leaves me uncomfortable sliding them on my board for fear that they will tip during the move and scratch the board finish. This is unfortunate but certainly not a deal breaker because most fabric or hobby stores sell felt that can be cut and glued on with very little effort. I was very apprehensive about the consistency of the staining job done when finishing the pieces. I worried about nothing, the pieces look like they were stained in medieval times by hand (read: perfection!) and make the set a proud presentation set for certain. The folks at Chesshouse went overboard helping me with one request I absolutely had to have - I wanted an extra queen for each side and they made it happen (small extra cost, very reasonable). Bottom line: I love the set and like the previous reviewer would have rated it 5-stars but for the felt dots. One small note - when shipped the pieces were individually wrapped in paper (think lunch bag brown paper) and touching each other. They arrived perfectly fine but I nearly passed out when I saw the lack of protection.

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