Renaissance Chess

Renaissance Chess
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Yes, there was Renaissance chess – and it was magnificent.

The board, the pieces, the way the game was played – all were transformed in a period of intense creativity that has never been equaled.

If you’re a fan of chess, or just interested in its history, you need to know about Renaissance chess.

Let me tell you all about it!

See below for our selection of Renaissance Chess!

Renaissance Chess

There’s something about Renaissance chess that just captures the heart.

Maybe it’s the history behind each of the pieces or the artistry that went into their design.

There’s no doubt that these chess sets are a beautiful addition to any home—or collection!

If you’re a fan of Renaissance chess, or even if you’re just getting started in the world of chess, then this blog post is for you!

I’ll be exploring some of my favorite Renaissance chess sets, as well as giving you a few tips on how to get started in this fascinating hobby.

So whether you’re new to all this or an experienced player, read on and enjoy!

Renaissance Chess Set

Manopoulos Renaissance Chess Set
manopoulos renaissance chess set
Renaissance Chess Set​

And so, with the historical notes out of the way, let’s dive straight into our first set today; a high quality renaissance set by Manopoulos;

            Ah, renaissance is a period of certain enchantment. The of re-discovery of ancient Greek masterpieces, the development of humanism, the reforms of all kinds; truly a longing for that time is nothing to be surprised of – frankly, who wouldn’t want to have seen all that, have been there themselves.

And, well, maybe you can’t quite travel back in time, but you can certainly attempt to relive these times in a symbolic game of chess – and if that’s what you are after, then this renaissance set may be a fairly good choice!

Manopoulos Renaissance Chess Pieces
manopoulos renaissance chess pieces
Manopoulos Renaissance Chess Board
manopoulos renaissance chess board
Manopoulos Renaissance Chess Pieces1
manopoulos renaissance chess pieces1
Manopoulos Renaissance Chess Board1
manopoulos renaissance chess board1
Manopoulos Renaissance Chess Pieces2
manopoulos renaissance chess pieces2

            The pieces here are certainly worth a second look; and having been made of gold or silver plated zinc alloy, they are also sure to last a long time.

A set like this is sure to be enjoyed both as a perfectly playable chess set that will take its share of hardships, and as a display piece, sure to draw attention. Be aware, though, that it is no small set;

with the board measuring 14×14 inches, and with the pieces standing over 3 inches tall, it is going to require a fair amount of space to be displayed properly. Oh, and there are different board colours to choose from.


zinc alloy, felt bottom, around 3” each, board – hand-painted bronze, 14”x14

Renaissance Chess Set by Italfama

Renaissance Chess Set by Italfama

This is one of the more sought after renaissance themed chess sets, and just from the pictures alone it can be clearly seen that its reputation is well-deserved.

While its overall appearance may be similar to the set above, it can be seen that the pieces here are of different design that just may be more to your tastes.

The pieces here would suggest rather earlier than later renaissance in terms of piece design; the king has a more medieval appearance, as do the pawns. However, it also makes the pieces more easily distinguishable, which is not always the case with some of the themed chess sets.

The pieces here are highly detailed, however it is worth noting that the golden pieces may appear somewhat less detailed, probably as a result of the plating process. They are usually sold without a board, however the pieces should come with a storage case. An appropriately sized board for this chess set would measure somewhere around 22”x22”, as does the board visible in some of the pictures shown above – it is not a set that will fit in a regular bookcase, and it is a rather large and heavy set, with the pieces alone tipping the scales at almost 15 pounds.
Whether you are looking for a high-end set just to be displayed, or whether you prefer a very durable set that will withstand long games – this is certainly a rather good choice for a renaissance lover.


Pieces: 4”-5 ½ ”, zinc alloy with painted details, usually no board

Luxury Florentine Renaissance Chess Set

Luxury Renaissance Chess Pieces
luxury renaissance chess pieces

Being on the extreme end both in terms of quality and in terms of price it is a set for one who has it all. If you are looking for something that looks and feels as if it could have been owned by a monarch in the late renaissance, look no further. It is the ultimate luxury renaissance set. With the hand-crafted pieces created in bronze using lost-wax casting technique and then finished with silver and gold, and with the board crafted in onyx and marble, finished with bronze, sterling silver and gold, it is as much a real treasure as a chess set.

            Rarely it is the case, but in this luxurious set the board is just as beautiful as are the pieces. The filigree construction, the artisan handwork – truly it is a rarity to see something of such quality. It is very similar to Carolingi XIV Chess Set

Luxury Florentine Renaissance Chess Set

           If you are looking for something to keep in a display case and enjoy like matured wine, this is a set for you. On the other hand, if you need a set that will be played a lot, this may not be a particularly good, mostly due to its delicacy and extreme value.

Pieces: bronze, silver and gold, around 4” each, board: onyx, marble, bronze, silver and gold, 20”x20”x4½”.


Pieces: bronze, silver and gold, around 4” each, board: onyx, marble, bronze, silver and gold, 20”x20”x4½”.

Hand-Painted Renaissance Chess

Hand Painted Renaissance Chess Figures
hand painted renaissance chess figures
Hand-Painted Renaissance Chess

            And now back to the more mundane chess sets; let’s have a look at a variant of the Italfama set mentioned earlier;

This set is just a painted version of the zinc alloy renaissance set by Italfama. It is certainly much more vivid that way; however, some of the intricate casting detail may be lost under the paint that way. It is a matter of choice, whether you prefer colour, or detail.

Hand Painted Renaissance Chess Set
hand painted renaissance chess set
Hand Painted Renaissance Chess Board
hand painted renaissance chess board
Hand Painted Renaissance Chess
hand painted renaissance chess

 An obvious advantage of the coloured version is that it is even easier to tell the pieces apart, and should they be used primarily for display, that appearance may fit the décor more. Other than the matter of colour it is virtually the same as the set mentioned earlier.


Pieces: 4”-5 ½ ”, hand painted zinc alloy, usually no board

Vintage Renaissance chess set

Vintage Renaissance Chess Pieces
Vintage renaissance chess pieces
Vintage Renaissance chess set

This is a vintage set, manufactured from early 60’s to 70’s, and it while it is long out of production, it can be usually found in pre-owned in a good state. Also, its reproductions are fairly widely available. For those two reasons we’ve decided to cover it as well. The pieces are made from weighted plastic, and are rather durable. The board however is cardboard, so the durability is a little lower.


Lowe Renaissance Chess Board
Lowe renaissance chess board
Vintage Renaissance Chess Pieces
vintage renaissance chess pieces
Lowe Renaissance Chess Box
Lowe renaissance chess box

It is certainly a good set for a person looking for a collectible set that can still be obtained at a reasonable price.

            As an interesting note, the Lowe pieces themselves are licensed copies of those made by ANRI, and while ANRI still exists, and still manufactures beautiful wooden chess sets, regrettably they do not manufacture that renaissance set anymore.


plastic, around 4” each, board – cardboard.

Wrapping It Up

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your chess game and add a little Renaissance flair, look no further than renaissance chess.

These variants of the classic board game take inspiration from the era of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, with pieces that resemble characters from history and mythology.

The rules are simple enough for beginners but offer plenty of depth for experienced players too.

So grab your friends, dust off your boards, and get ready to experience chess like never before!

What do you think?

Will you be giving renaissance chess a try?