Glass is a relatively common material for luxurious chess sets that are primarily meant to be beheld. Because, for a chess set meant to be played a lot, glass may be a less than perfect choice; glass pieces can be fairly easy to damage, even a small drop can cause them to shatter. Most of the pre-owned glass chess sets free from any chips and scratches simply have never been used for serious, or even less-than-serious play. Another downside is that if it is crystal glass, the pieces, with their dazzling appearance, may be really hard to tell apart.
But on the other hand, a well made glass chess set may be extremely pleasing to look upon – especially if one considers the more artisan-made sets, for example the ones made from Murano glass.
This crystal glass chess set, manufactured by Swarovski from 1984 to 2007 is highly pleasing to look at. The jet-black and the transparent crystal pieces put on the mirror-matte board are at once minimalist and extravagant. In its extravagance it can complement the extreme minimalism of modern glass-and-concrete designs. In its minimalism it can complement the more baroque décor.
The pieces have felt bottoms – in case someone wishes to use this set for a game of chess. However, in that case it should be noted that the pieces, combined with the mirror board may be quite difficult to tell apart.
This glass chess set is of the less expensive variety, yet is still a pleasure to behold it. And due to its lower value it is much higher on the playability scale – it usually costs less to buy an entire set like this one than to replace a single piece from the set above. If what you are looking for is a glass chess set that can also be enjoyed in a more direct way than just as a piece of the décor, this is one of your more viable options.
If you are looking for something a little retro, to fit – or complement – your minimalist or postmodern interior, while still being a perfectly playable chess set, this might be just the thing for you.
The design of these pieces is based on an older, more vintage chess set, but the pieces (and the board) are still being manufactured and available at affordable prices – which makes them fit for casual play, as should some damage occur, this set is not irreplaceable. However it should be noted that with their similar colours, and general translucency and transparency, the pieces can be really hard to tell apart if the lighting is less than perfect.
On the contrary, if what you would like to find is a true vintage, not a faux-vintage, chess set, then a set very similar in appearance to this one is one of the more available options – however, with those chess sets there is this problem that in most cases at least some of the pieces are chipped.
Some vendors offer chess sets very similar to that one, but in different colours – or even rainbow coloured.
But what if you are looking for some more…say, unusual glass chess set? The more easily found glass chess sets we have already covered; now it is time for the artisan and even artistic chess sets that are each a rarity – an interesting rarity. The obvious downside of such sets is that they are hardly meant to be played at all. On the other hand, with their usually high value that can only grow further, they may even form a good investment.
Most of those chess sets are either one-off, or in limited production runs. For that reason, it may not be always possible to find exactly the same chess set for purchase. However, it should give you a general idea of what exists out there. At the time of writing this article, all of these sets were available for sale.
As far as chess go, it is certainly one of the cuter chess sets out there – if you are looking for something really special for your lady friend (or perhaps just for you), you may want to consider sets like this one.
Since it is handcrafted by an artist, it is likely that you may be able to commission a special set to be made just for you – and having a set that’s been made just for you is a luxury few can boast of!
A downside to a set like this is that it can only be played by the people of the softest touch. Great as a display piece, but hardly playable at all, due to the fact that the pieces are really delicate.
This chess set is slowly bringing us to the topic of Murano glass – however, it is not Murano glass, as Murano glass (or Venetian glass) is manufactured only on the Venetian island of Murano, while this chess set comes from Russia. There’s an advantage to this though; it means that despite its truly beautiful appearance, you may be able to get a really enticing offer, as Russian ruble is currently a fairly weak currency.
“Soldiers, from the summit of yonder pyramids forty centuries look down upon you…” is a quote attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, taken from the speech delivered to his troops on 21 July 1798. In those times, Egyptology was just slowly beginning its development. Yet despite all the knowledge we amassed of the bygone days of Pharaohs, ancient Egypt remains as enchanting as it was in 18th century, when barely anything was known of it.
This chess set, available in two different colours versions, is also hand-manufactured, however this time, in the US. If you have a thing going for ancient Egypt, most likely you won’t find anything much better than that, and for sure not in glass.
If you are looking for something made in the USA, this is one such product, of high quality, and high value.
Wrapping It Up
There are many glass blowers around the world, and if the standard glass chess selection does not satisfy you, it is always possible to contact an individual glassmaker and order a set to be made just for you.
However, if what you are looking for is a glass chess set that is meant to be played, it is recommended to settle for one of the more standard chess sets, as this way it will not be such a huge loss if a piece gets damaged.