Literary Themed Chess Sets
(Uno & Monopoly Variants)
Alice in Wonderland (lots) [SAC CSE CP]
Alice in Wonderland Chess Sets at the White Rabbit Shop in Carmel, CA.Handpainted theme chess sets.
Since chess was at the very core of Through the Looking Glass, it is not surprizing that a variety of sets have been based on Lewis Carroll's characters. Some have drawn from the illustrations of Tenniel for inspiration, and both plain and handpainted sets are available.
It is interesting to note that Croquet which figures prominently in the first Lewis Carroll book had been introduced to English society in about the 1840's and was a current fad. Card games (Alice in Wonderland) and Chess (Through the Looking Glass) were much older games, but very much a part of Victorian life. Chess and Croquet sets were products of English woodturners.
Reynard the Fox CSE
- fox 2
- fox 3
The Lord of Rings Trilogy SAC
- LOTR 1 The first book and movie: The Fellowship of the Ring inspired a Chess set; the Second, The Two Towers produced 12 supplemental pieces for the set. The Third book and movie inspired another The Return of King edition.
- official LOTR
- LOTR 2
LOTR has of course also inspired various Roleplaying Games (Middle Earth Role Playing) and a version of Risk B00006653W; Trivial Pursuits B000096QKP Monopoly B00009YEHI as well.
Sherlock Holmes The famous Consulting Detective battles with Dr. Moriaty and his criminal syndicate. Arthur Conen Doyle's collections of Holmes stories have been my favorites since a young age - I have read through them several times.
A now rare set was done using characters from Bond Films. Chess was prominent in the Move From Russia With Love.
Wizard of Oz L. Frank Baum wrote 24 books of adventures in the land of OZ. SAC CP
The books have inspired musical plays and motion pictures.
Winnie the Pooh The stories by Milne have inspired a set.
- pooh 1
Winnie the Pooh chess set seen here in the hand decorated finish--This delightful chess set features characters from the Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne. The designers have based the pieces on the original illustrations by E.H.Shepard. Meet your favourite character Pooh as the King, Kanga as the Queen, Owl as the Bishop, Eeyore as the Knight, Tigger as the rook and sweet little Piglet as the Pawns.
- Pooh 2
Rupert Bear CP
Has been a cartoon character in London's Daily Express since the 1920's, drawn by at first by Mary Toutel; Alfred Bestall took over in 1935 until his retirement in 1965. Annuals and books have drawn considerable fan following over the years with all sorts of collectables..
http://nylon.net/rupert/lister.htm History http://www.canterbury.gov.uk/cgi-bin/buildpage.pl?mysql=602 Museum
Peter Rabbit SAC Cottage Garden Set (
Cottage Garden Chess Set, SAC's sculptors and artists have captured the elegant beauty and tranquillity of the traditional English Cottage Garden. The pieces have been skilfully decorated with only selected detail picked out adding to the sophistication of the set. The King and Queen are represented by the Head Gardner and his wife and the other pieces show familiar items often found in the traditional garden - the Bishop is a sun dial, the knight a flower fairy bird bath and the Rook an ornamental well. All are protected by the pawns - a row of clipped shrubs. The white pieces are finished in a weathered stone effect and the dark pieces in terracotta.
Lion Witch and Wardrobe CP
Doubtless as a new film version comes out, there will be increased interest in Narnia, a imaginary land created by C. S. Lewis for a series of seven books. THe BBC also did Narnia for Television. My children discovered the charm and moral lessons of Aslan, at bedtime as they were growing up.
Harry Potter CP
I discovered J. R. Rowling's Harry Potter books before the hype and movies engulped them and realized immediately that they were classic children's books. Hopefully fame and the cinema won't diminish the remainder of the series. In the first film, Harry and his friends are playing with a set of Isle of Lewis Chessmen; later in the film they must cope with a giant set of chessmen in order to solve a puzzle - the Harry Potter Wizards set is available in a more modest size as well.
- A chess grandmaster, Silman, designs the Movie Game
- The moves for the Giant pieces
Harry Potter Wizards Set Chess (like the Giant Sized Set from Movie #1) B0000669DT
Don Quixote CP
Shakespeare CSE(2) AC
A Midsummer Night's Dream CP
The Globe Theatre Set
Legendary and Mythic Chess Sets
Medieval times are themes closely associated with chess pieces. It is not surprizing that the legendary heroes of those times have inspired chessmen. Legends, often based on historical individuals or events, gave shape to cultural traditions of the past - but some modern Myths such as Star Wars and Star Trek have done the same to our modern world.
Robin Hood SAC AC
Richard the Lionhearted
he King is represented by King Henry IV whose body was laid to rest in the cathedral in 1413 next to Joan of Navarre, his wife, who died in 1437. The bishop is represented by Canterbury's most well-known archbishops, Thomas Becket, who was famously slain on the steps of the altar. The knight is one of the most famous military leaders of English history, Edward the Black Prince whose body lies in Trinity Chapel in the cathedral.
King Arthur CSE
Gods of Mythology: Eygptian; Greek; Roman CSE AC
Star Trek CP
Who could forget Spock playing Three-dimensional Chess when the show first appeared in the 60's.
Chess in the Comics: Comic Book and Cartoon Sets
- Simpsons 1
- Simpson 2
Charlie Brown and the characters of Charles' Shultz' Peanuts
- Peanuts 1
- Peanuts 2
- Peanuts monopoly
Justice Leage of America A Chess set based on those Super-heroes created by Julius Schwartz of DC Comics in the 1960's which I loved to read is apparently soon to come out - the animated movies of 2001 were bombs, but are also soon to be released as a DVD.They have also inspired a Justice League version of Monopoly.
- History of the comics . . Character's Bio's
Marvel Comics Set: B00008W72X It has: Kings - Kingpin and Captain America. Queens: Mystique and Jean Grey. Bishops: Doctor Octopus and Daredevil. Knights: Venom and Spiderman. Rooks: Magneto and the Hulk. Pawns: The Lizard and Wolverine.
X-men (Marvel Comics)
The first X-Men movie features a scene with a clear and frosted Glass Set between Dr. Xaviar and Magneto - who is in a metal free prison cell. The set is readily available over the internet and on ebay.
Shrek . . Scobby Doo . . Aliens vs Predators . .
And a few More . . .
Teddy Bears CSE
Cats Vs Dogs CSE
Cops and Robbers
Of course there are many literary stories that have not inspired Chess sets. Here are a few of my "suggestions":
A set based on the Raven and Coyote stories of the Pacific Northwest carved in the Northwest Style.
A wacky set based on the Rudabaga Stories of Carl Sandburg - The character names alone are an inspiration. Though, the Sandburg Estate will probably not grant permission for you to market them.
Eldrbarry's Chess Links . .
Eldrbarry's Home Page - Contact Barry McWilliams at firstname.lastname@example.org