William Pinney Reproduction Chessmen, Master Size.
Here is a set of William Pinney reproduction Chessmen, featuring the large Master-size Staunton chessmen. The chess pieces are heavily weighted and felted. The original William T. Pinney chess sets were produced between 1933 and the late 1950s. The Chess set is Natural and Burgundy Lacquered Boxwood. The chess pieces are also available in Natural and Lacquered Rosewood as shown in the attached image. The King stands an impressive 4-3/4″ tall with a full 2″ diameter base. The captivating feature of the Pinney chessmen is the unique Knight. Somewhat slab-sided and simple, the Knights have an allure all of their own – to some, it is an acquired taste. These sets include an extra pair of Queens, an innovation pioneered by The House of Staunton in 1996. The chessboard shown is not part of this sale, but may be purchased elsewhere on this site. These chess pieces play and display best on a chessboard with 2-1/2″ squares, For a complete selection of our finest new and antique chessboards, please click here.
W. T. Pinney chessmen were constant fixtures in chess clubs and tournament halls through out the country from the 1930s through the late 1950s. The chessmen are often featured on the cover and pages of Chess Review, edited by Al Horowitz, throughout the over three decades of the Magazine’s existence. Bill Pinney made his sers in four sizes: the Master, shown here; the Club, which had a 4″ King and a 1-5/8″ base: the Small Club, which had a 3-5/8″ King and a 1-1/2″ base and the Library size with a 3″ King.
William T. Pinney was a patternmaker by profession, having worked in the trade for over 18 years. After the closing of the Charleston Navy Yard in South Carolina where he was employed as a patternmaker, Pinney, age 56, turned to the manufacture of wooden chessmen. The making of chessmen in volume had interested him both as a player and a patternmaker. So, in 1933, he set up his shop at 811 Maltmen Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, and started a long and successful career producing wooden chessmen. The machinery used for the mass production was designed and hand-built by Pinney. He was among the first U.S. manufacturers to produce chessmen on a mass scale. Prior to that, the majority of tournament size chess sets were imported from England, France and Germany.