About the Chess Antiques Company.
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.