Glass Chess Set
The very first glass chess pieces began to appear in the 9th Century throughout the Islamic world. Modern versions started to be made in Italy around the 19th Century. Many glass companies during the 20th Century became involved in the creation of glass chess pieces. Artists and craftsmen were also attracted to the idea of glass pieces, as the creativity potential was endless. The New York City skyline has even been reproduced in the form of glass chess pieces.
Light, blown glass pieces have a more delicate, filigree appearance than solid glass sets. Of course the weight of the piece is always a consideration, so a thicker, solid base has to be achieved for stability on the board. In both cases though, coloured glass can also be incorporated to great effect. Sometimes two or three colours can be combined in overlapping swirls and twists creating magical effects.
Glass chess pieces
In the case of clear, uncoloured glass pieces you have a problem: which pieces are black? Which pieces are white? This is usually resolved by making one set, the white pieces in clear glass and the "black" glass chess pieces in a frosted or ground glass giving a matt look.
Glass Chess sets
For purely original creativity, hot formed, blown-glass pieces are the ultimate prize. More abstract than formal in design each piece is a unique expression of the artist glass-blower. Once blown, the pieces can be etched to create a matt, silken surface texture. These sets can be some of the most expensive ones available, even exceeding the £5000 price tag.
Shot glass chess sets
From the sublime to the ridiculous – the shot glass set pieces each contain a liquor of your choice that has to be drunk when your opponent takes your piece. For the less experienced player this could be a short cut to very speedy intoxication, not to mention a brisk annihilation from the game.
Glass Chess Boards
In the realm of fantasy chess sets, whereas the pieces can be made of moulded resin, replicas of various fantastical beings, the feature of the accompanying boards is that they are made from glass. For both practical and aesthetic reasons the glass really need to be elevated above the table or other surface on which it sits. This suspension is achieved by having four retaining blocks on the corners where the board rests.
The corner blocks can be sculpted themed pieces that carry the same leitmotif as the chess pieces themselves. The glass chessboard is a particularly popular choice for designers of the fantasy genre of chess pieces as it has the added dimension of reflected light and cast shadows which changes as the game progresses. There is a happy irony that the ancient, cerebral game of chess can carry the same fantasy icons as today's computer video games.
Some chess boards are made with a mirror finish, when combined with stylish glass pieces, makes for a very opulent effect. The chess squares, plus any decorative motifs are usually screen printer onto the glass, or, for a superior finish, the squares can be etched or ground into the glass.
Dragon chess set
Dragons, The great legendary monsters are usually imagined as huge, fire breathing, bat winged, scaly lizard type creatures with a barbed tail. The ancient belief in these creatures apparently grew up without the knowledge of the gigantic prehistoric monsters that inhabited our world and whose fossils have only been found relatively recently. The English word ‘dragon’ is derived from the Greek ‘dracon’, which was used to describe any large snake or serpent. The dragon of mythology invariably meant a serpent. In the Middle Eastern world where snakes are large and deadly, the dragon is regarded as a malevolent creature, symbolic of the principle of evil. In the Far East the dragon is known as a beneficent creature. The Chinese dragon represents yang, the principle of heaven, activity and maleness in the ying/yang of Chinese cosmology. In both Chinese and Japanese cultures dragons are among the deified forces of nature in Taoism. So we have the dark, evil dragons and the benign white dragons. The perfect opposing forces for a dragon lover’s chess set.
Dragon chess pieces
The dragon has become one of the best-loved fantasy creatures for very young children upwards. Carved, sculpted dragons are very popular as toys, ornaments and models. The dragon chess set satisfies the aesthetic appreciation for these fantastical creatures combined with the pleasure of combative game activity. For centuries artists and craftsmen have chosen chess pieces as the objects on which to demonstrate the skills and creativity. In fact, one of the finest examples of medieval ivory carving in the whole world is a chess piece.
Dragon chess sets holds a peculiar challenge to the chess piece carver because the dragon is such a curvatious, scaly object to fashion. Most of the creative skill is used in carving out the original die for the dragon chess pieces. From this is created a mould from which resin, plastic or metal pieces can be cast. Then the pieces are skilfully spray painted with an airbrush before the fine details are added by skilled artists using fine, sable hair paintbrushes.
The dragon chess set is proving a popular choice these days for people of all ages for two good reasons. Firstly, dragons have been around for a long time in the imagination of mankind. Who knows, dragons may have walked this earth. There is fossil evidence that some of he dinosaurs could have been fire-breathing beasts, and in the book of Job, in the Bible, we have mention of a fire-breathing monster.
“When he snorts, flashes of light are thrown out. His eyes look like the light at dawn, flames blaze from his mouth. Sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke pours out of his nose as if coming from a large pot over a hot fire; his breath sets coals on fire and flames come out of his mouth. There is great strength in his neck. People are afraid and run away from him.” Job chapter 41 verses 18 – 22 (ICB).
This ancient text has been in existence for thousands of years and would have its place in the psyche of many generations. Secondly, the game of chess is consistently popular. Its popularity has never waned and each new generation recognises the challenge, excitement and intellectual stimulation that this game offers. So with this combination of two powerful entities the dragon chess set has to be a winner!
If you are looking to buy a reasonably priced replica medieval dragon chess set uk with a contemporary twist, the UK fantasy giftware company, Nemesis Now has manufactured beautiful stone resin dragon figures with a screen printed glass checkerboard raised off the surface of your table by four Celtic style columns. Hailing from Wales is the nationalistic Welsh themed Dragons v Sheep Chess Set, which has red dragons opposing the rather cute sheep pieces. Dragons versus dragons is not unusual in chess games, but dragons versus sheep is certainly a novel concept!