About Us

About the Chess Antiques Company.

Frank Camaratta

As a serious Tournament player competing from the 1960s until my retirement from tournament chess, I was always disappointed with the abysmal quality of chess sets sold through most major outlets. The market suffered from a glut of poorly crafted chessmen from India which flooded the market at prices that forced most traditional makers out of business. Gone were names like Drueke, Golden Castle Limited, Lardy, Sutton-Coldfield, Gallant Knight, Windsor Castle and countless others, even the venerable Jaques of London, the company that invented the now standard Staunton chessmen, scaled back their quality and output of chess sets. They simply couldn’t compete with the low labor rates paid to Indian craftsmen. It was my dream at the time to bring old World craftsmanship back into the chess set market. However, family and business pressures made achieving that reality a distant dream. In the late 1980s, my interest turned to collecting antique chess sets. I was taken by the exquisite workmanship and wondered why that same level of craftsmanship couldn’t be revived. So, in early 1990, I resigned my position as a Senior Executive at a major multinational high-tech Corporation (much to my wife’s surprise) and formed my own company dedicated to achieving the promise I made to myself those many years ago: recreating the finest of the Old World Staunton and Pre-Staunton designs at a fair price, and offering unparalleled customer service. Thus was born The House of Staunton.

The U.S. Chess Hall of Fame and Museum now hold the record for the World’s largest Chess King. It is located in front of the Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.  This impressive edifice is based on the King in the Sinquefield Cup chess set which was designed by Frank Camaratta. Shown here is the original Engineering drawing provided by Frank and a picture of the King towering proudly in front of the Chess Museum. The project was completed in time for the Staunton Standard Exhibition which was held in April, 2018. Also donated to the museum were two large chess sets, one for permanent display and another for the St. J Louis Chess Club. These were exact duplicated od the famous Sinquefield Cup Chessmen. The chessboard is composed of four sections, each having 4-1/4” squares of Zebrawood and Maple, held together by embedded super magnets. The chessboard measures 34” square. The chess set Kings are 8” tall. Here are images of Frank with his latest creations.

To learn more about the Chess Antiques Company, please feel free to browse our extensive catalog of Antique Chess sets and Collectibles. We believe this to be the most complete collection of antique, nostalgic, luxury and premium chess sets, chess boards and chess clocks, as well as other antique board games, available anywhere. Our specialty is Staunton and Pre-Staunton chess sets with an emphasis on products manufactured by Jaques of London. We hope that these will give you some idea of the quality of our product lines and the vastness of our antique and luxury offerings. When viewing, just click on any file name to see the underlying graphic image. For a short video with Grandmaster and many-time U.S. Champion Yasser Seirawan on the background of the company and a few other interesting facts, click here

Please remember that these images on these pages are copyrighted, and in particular, no commercial use is authorized without our express permission. 
We purchase individual antique chess sets, board and timers, as well as complete collections. If you are interested in Purchasing any of our items, or if you have an item or collection that you feel might be of interest to us, please contact Frank Camaratta at (256) 714-8233, email frank.a.camaratta@gmail.com, or use the form below.

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