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    The French Lardy Chess Pieces - 3.75" King

    Product Code: MENWLRD375

     

    Free Worldwide Shipping

    Description

    The House of Staunton is proud to offer the French Lardy Series Chess set. A full tournament-sized Chess set, it features a 3.75" King with a 1.5" diameter base. The Chess pieces are hand carved by our master artisans and crafted out of the highest grade woods. The Chess pieces are heavily weighted with luxurious billiard cloth base pads and a beautiful finish.

    Lardy was a prolific French chess set manufacturer, situated in Dortan in the French Jura, which ceased operations  in the late 1980s due to pressure from the onslaught of low quality chess sets flooding the marked by Indian manufacturers operating from grim, make-shift factories in the Amritsar region. Lardy’s success heralded the arrival of the Indian manufacturers who began to erode Lardy's market beginning in the late 1960s. Material was mostly Jura boxwood, but maple and softwoods seems to have been used as well, even horn. Wood finishes were normally natural and black lacquer, depending on the underlying wood species used. The Indian manufacturers almost used the much less expensive waxed and oil finishes. That, combined with the much lower labor costs, allowed the Indian manufacturers to flood the market with copied at much lower prices than lardy.

    The first reference of chessmen by Lardy of France in the U.S. was in the 1933 edition of Isaac Kashdan's Chess Review. Lardy chessmen were available felted and unfelted, as well as weighted and unweighted variations. They ranged in size from the small set with a 2-3/4” King, to large Club-size sets with King heights over 4-3/4”. From the 1930s through the early 1970s, Lardy dominated the Chess set market, selling massive numbers of chess sets to the USA and England, where they were commercialized by brands such as Cavalier, Drueke, Lowe, Sterling and others. Molds of the Lardy chessmen were the basis for the ubiquitous “Club Special” plastic chessmen found in every chess club and tournament throughout the World.

    As with all of our Chess sets, the French Lardy Series exemplifies a perfect combination of distinct beauty and functionality. It has been designed to withstand the rigors of practical play while maintaining an elegance which has become the hallmark of a House of Staunton chess set. The design, quality and craftsmanship of this set is UNMATCHED by any set of Chessmen in its price range. Nothing even comes close!

     

    The Chessmen are new and each set consists of 34 Chessmen, including four Queens, a standard that was introduced by The House of Staunton in 1993.


    ALSO INCLUDES A FREE 
    FRANK CAMARATTA SIGNATURE SLIDE-TOP CHESS BOX 
    ($49.95 VALUE)

    History of the Chess Pieces

    Lardy was an important french chess piece manufacturer, situated in Dortan near Oyonnax in the French Jura, which closed shop around 1988. In the interwar years and even more in the 50ies and 60ies Lardy must have exported very large numbers of chess sets to the major market USA and England, where they were commercialized by games brands such as Cavalier, Drueke, Lowe,Sterling and others, as well as to smaller markets. This very likely contributed to forcing local makers like Drueke or Horn or other makers in the USA and Jaques in England to stop or reduce making quality wooden chess pieces.



    Lardy was not the only french chess piece maker to flood the world with down to middle market chess sets - Chavet and others spring to mind. Their success in export markets like the USA, Great Britain and Germany heralded the arrival of the ascendent Indian manufacturers who in turn started to take away Lardy's market from them in the 60ies and 70ies. Most likely Lardy was one of the french turners who produced immense numbers of Regency chess sets as well - and possibly other styles in chess sets along with sundry other turned wood games - over the last hundred years. Material was mostly Jura boxwood, but maple and softwoods seems to have been used as well - and as it seems, even horn, judging by a fine set owned by Guy Lyons.



    Lardy Staunton sets - from the 60ies onward - are easily distinguished by the typical blocky knights head - see the logo - a flat horizontal top line with a small jutting rear fin - strong striatures on head and neck for better sets, as well as bulging wooden eyes. It is of course a two piece knight. French makers always had a top line - têtes fines - and a middle line - têtes simples - as well as cheaper sets for the mass trade, with nondescript heads. This design was widely copied by indian chess manufacturers like Checkmate, but has now faded from fashion....check the Indian producers websites as outlined in my Links section. It is not easy to distinguish an Indian Lardy-style set from the original, especially in smaller sets....

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    Product Details

    Additional Information

    Google Yes
    Chess Board Included? The Chess Board featured is for photographic purposes only and must be purchased separately
    Manufacturer The House of Staunton
    Fitted Coffer Compatible? Too Small for Coffer
    King Height 3.75'' inch / 9.53 cm
    King Base Diameter 1.5'' inch / 3.81 cm
    Recommended Chess Board Size 2.25" inch / 5.7 cm, 2.375" inch / 6.0 cm
    Basepad Material Billiard Cloth
    Median Set Weight 39.1 ounces (1.11 kg)
    Total Number of Pieces 34 Chess Pieces, including 2 Additional Queens (for Pawn Promotion)