It’s surprising that such a time-consuming game of strategy and patience, such as chess, where players wage war over an ancient battlefield carefully bound by rules and pageantry, is still so popular today. Played by everyone from nine to ninety year olds, the 1500-year-old art of check mating an opponent hasn’t lost its appeal, nor has it lost its glamour. With game pieces found in Russia, China, India, Central Asia and Pakistan from over a thousand years ago, chess is thought to have been introduced to Europe by way of Persia and the Byzantine Empire, as well as possibly the growing Arabian empire around the 10th century. Therefore, it’s only fitting for a game of such impressive lineage to be played on a purpose-built solid oak table that commands its own respect.
Studio Hermès has captured both the simplicity and complexity of the game in the streamlined design and the precise detail of this centre-stage games table. Apart from two reversible games surfaces made with leather marquetry (for chess, draughts, cards and backgammon), the gracefully crafted table also includes concealed compartments, covered in specialised H bullcalf leather, for storing pieces (and perhaps scoring history for sparing opponents). The matching chess pieces, which come with the table, are made from mahogany, tinted black walnut and fauve H bullcalf leather. Additional inclusions are counters, cards and cups for draughts, chess, backgammon, bridge, tarot, and poker, as well as a mahogany doubling cube, three mahogany dice and three walnut dice. hermes.com/au/