Swan Lake Chessmen by Studio Anne Carlton.
Offered here are the lovely Swan Lake Chessmen by Studio Anne Carlton, located in Hull England. The King measures 3-3/4″ tall with a 1″ base. All the chess pieces are cushioned with brown baize and are stored in a cardboard box with two nested form-fitted trays. The chessmen are cast from molds made from hand-carved polyresin crushed stone composite masters modeled after famous mammoth tusk set in Anne Carlton’s personal collection. Each piece is originally hand sculpted prior to making the molds. The pieces are handmade from quality crushed stone enriched resin which has had all air bubbles removed in a vacuum chamber. Any mold lines are hand removed, first with a surgical blade then hand polished. The chess pieces are like new and the storage box is in excellent condition. The Swan Lake Chess Sets date to around 1980.
A Little About SAC
Studio Anne Carlton’s (SAC) origins date back to 1969 when Anne Finestein created her first chess set for architect husband David, an avid chess player. This first set was greatly admired by many of David’s friend and requests for copies came in from chess enthusiasts all over the country. In fact, the demand was such that Anne moved her factory from a small garden shed into an old fish smoking house on Flinton Street in Hull where production facilities could be developed.
By 1979 Studio Anne Carlton Ltd had become a major force in the games industry, with many innovative products and ideas. In the early 1980s, the company was acquired by Clayhithe Plc with the intention of taking it forward and expanding into gift and leisure. A 22,000 sq ft factory was built on the Hull site.
In 2003 the company was sold to Traditional Games and most of their manufacturing was moved to China with the UK factory being closed but all design and development remained in the UK. This did not work well for the company and in 2014 Ancestors’ Group acquired the rights to manufacture and distribute the SAC range of decorative sets and classic games together with all the design rights and originals of all the surviving models and moved production to their own UK factory in Folkestone, UK where all the themed chess sets are now made. Ancestors’ being a manufacturer of heritage products in the UK and casters in pewter were able to move the SAC brand into new areas of distribution and introduce, over the course of time, new products including English Pewter Themed Chess Sets. All production of the chess set pieces is now in the UK.