The White Tower still stands at the centre of the Tower of London and today houses displays of arms and armour, an echo of the working arsenal that it once was. The medieval Chapel of St John the Evangelist on the first floor is still in use, five centuries after it witnessed the betrothal of Queen Mary I to King Philip II of Spain.
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Please note, this collection is for chess set pieces only, board not included. Please consider purchasing a beautiful hand-crafted chessboard from our selection to compliment your stunning chess pieces.
THE STUDIO ANNE CARLTON PROCESS
The high skill of the designers, sculptors, and craftsmen of SAC shines through in our collection of UK hand made chess sets and European chess boards. The richness of finish and attention to detail contribute to the success of the beautiful products from the SAC range, which are appreciated on five continents.
The chess sets are mainly produced in two finishes made from crushed stone polyresin. Hand-painted sets where only certain parts are coloured by hand, whilst some areas remain plain, allowing for the natural material to be exposed after a light coloured wash of paint. Our regular sets are in a burgundy and cream plain finish with a light-dark wash to emphasise the detail in the pieces. The quality of each set has remained intact throughout the manufacturing process. It shows too. The chess sets do not come with the chessboard which need ordering separately.
A WORK OF ART AND FROM THE HEART
Unlike traditional factory-made chess sets, the sculptured pieces themselves take months to complete in the hands of a SAC craftsman. Creating the chess sets has more to do with ensuring that the characters are anatomically correct from the sandaled toes to the top of a crown. Extra care is taken to ensure historical accuracy where appropriate. The figures are also put through various casting processes until the production moulds are created without having to lose any of the detail. We all care at Studio Anne Carlton to create a masterpiece every time. No hand-painted pieces are the same as our artists are encouraged to add their own identity to their artwork.
COLLECTABILITY OF THEMED CHESS SETS
Studio Anne Carlton, SAC, the UK made, chess pieces are highly sought after in the collectable markets. The fact that these highly prized pieces are completely hand made makes volume production out of the question. Consequently, many of the earlier and discontinued sets are returning substantial prices when appearing at auction. The sets are avidly collected by enthusiasts all over the world.
Nearly all SAC products exhibit historical characters and settings. The chess sets are designed according to a broad range of themes depicting significant events in history that changed people, cultures, and civilizations. Some sets are also designed around famous fictional characters and stories like The Wizard of Oz or Robin Hood.
The amount of research that shows is also astounding and is included in the booklet that you receive with each set.
THEMED CHESS SETS
Nearly all SAC products exhibit historical characters and settings. The chess sets are designed according to a broad range of themes depicting significant events in history that changed people, cultures, and civilizations. Some sets are also designed around famous fictional characters and stories like Alice in Wonderland or Sherlock Holmes.
The amount of research that shows is also astounding. In fact, themed chess sets from popular fiction and media have been designed according to how they were introduced commercially. For instance, the figures from SAC’s Sherlock Holmes chess set are based on the original illustrations that appeared in the “Strand” magazine in 1890.
WHAT MAKES STUDIO ANNE CARLTON SO SPECIAL?
To say that every SAC chess set is a work of art is almost an understatement. Each piece is originally hand-sculpted prior to making the moulds. All of the pieces are handmade from silicon moulds and pouring quality crushed stone enriched resin which has been all air bubbles removed in a vacuum chamber to give the superior perfection that is always achieved. Any mould lines are hand removed, first with a surgical blade then hand polished. They are then all hand-painted with acrylic paints using a specially mixed traditional burgundy or cream colour which is then hand buffed to remove the paint from various parts of the pieces to give a deliberate distressed old look – this makes every single piece individual as no two are identical. The pieces are then either polished with a fine layer of wax to give each piece a wonderful, rich feel when picking them up but also to seal the paint stop any over-drying during the decades of play they will receive. If the pieces are to be further hand-painted the wax layer is not placed until further painting takes place, all painting of the sets are carried out using highly skilled artists who are encouraged to use their own interpretations and skills providing stunning detailed painting and thereby creating unique individual masterpieces– each set takes in excess of a full week to paint and set is individual to the artist which is why they personally sign a certificate with their own name which is recorded. Every set is now numbered and recorded in our Studio Anne Carlton register archive register book together with the date of manufacture and, where possible, who made the purchase.
Studio Anne Carlton Tower Of London Handpainted Chess Set Pieces
The Tower of London
Crushed stone polyresin
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE
Studio Anne Carlton