Imperial Mammoth Staunton Chessmen.
Offered here is an impressive set of Imperial Mammoth Staunton Chessmen. The chess pieces are Crafted from 20,000-year old natural and red-stained Woolly Mammoth tusk. These chessmen capture the exquisite design of the original Staunton pattern Chessmen, registered by Nathaniel Cooke and produced by Jaques of London in 1849. This leviathan Chess set features a massive 5.2″ King with a 2.4″ diameter base. The image on the left compares the Imperial Mammoth King with a pre 1890s full 4-3/8″ full Club-Size Jaques Staunton King and an 1920s Small Club Jaques King. The chess pieces do not contain any artificial ballast since Mammoth tusk is a naturally dense material that does not require additional weighting. The Chess pieces are hand carved by crafted by renowned sculptor and Mammoth ivory carver Oleg Raikis. Raikis’ chess carvings are internationally recognized and are highly prized and sought-after by chess collectors Worldwide. All 32 Chess pieces are crafted from the highest grade of Mammoth tusk. The dark army has been stained matte black. The Imperial Mammoth Staunton Chessmen do not have base pads, but rather are left uncovered as has been the praxis for chessmen of this type over the centuries. The pieces were made around 2002 and are in like-new condition.
These magnificent heirloom quality chess pieces play and display best on a chessboard with 3-0″ to 3-1/4″ squares. The chessboards shown in the accompanying images are not included, but suitable boards may be found elsewhere on this site.
History Of The Chess Pieces.
The Mammoth tusk is excavated from the permafrost of the Siberian tundra, which the woolly mammoth inhabited for more than 160,000 years. During the last ice age, the mammoth went extinct as the direct result of rapidly plummeting temperatures. The dry, cold environment of Siberia combined with the massive sheets of ice from the ice age created the ideal environment for the preservation of Mammoth byproducts. The woolly Mammoths have been entombed under the Siberian permafrost ever since, waiting to be unearthed.
For more than 2,000 years, Mammoth Tusk has been traded and it remains a highly prized commodity across the world. While the demand for the Mammoth byproducts has always been higher than its supply, it began its steep rise when the international ivory ban was enacted. This agreement banned all sales of new Elephant or Walrus Ivory, in an effort to protect the animals from extinction. As a result, Mammoth tusks became the only type of animal-based ivory that is exempt from the international trade restrictions. Over the past few years, the price of Mammoth tusks has more than tripled, due largely to the unprecedented demand for luxury goods from such emerging countries as India and China. This trend is expected to continue. Less than one percent of the Mammoth tusks harvested is of suitable quality for the manufacturing of Chess pieces, thus adding the production costs and long-term value.
The Imperial Mammoth Staunton Chessmen exemplify the perfect combination of size, distinct beauty and collectability. The design, accuracy, quality and craftsmanship of these Imperial Mammoth Staunton Chessmen is UNMATCHED by any set of Chessmen at any price.
About the Sculptor.
Oleg Raikis has a strong affinity with chess, having been an ambitious tournament player in his youth. His love for the game is now an inspiration for his art. Aside from his sculptures, Oleg has designed and created many chess sets. They combine the creative imaginative skill of a master craftsman with the understanding of the practical requirements needed for a set of chessmen to be acceptable as an efficient tool for an ancient Royal game. Oleg Raikis’ impressive sculptures, carved from hard woods and mammoth ivory, were displayed in the international exhibition, ‘Sculptor 1991’. Since then his work has been constantly on show, including exhibiting in Galleries in Germany, Britain and the States.
Oleg’s artistic and practical chess sets, have been much admired within the international chess collector community, where they take a proud place in collections in Russia, the USA. Canada, Germany, Italy, Finland, Netherlands, and England. You are not likely to see contemporary chess set designs equal to the work of Oleg Raikis.