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.