“The board design for this set was inspired by the English playwright, Noël Coward and the tiled kitchen floor of his Firefly Estate in Jamaica. Here again, I gave the set a more playful tone by coloring all the pawn’s heads as if they were candy gum-balls. Chess and candy gum-balls? Hardly a customary combination! All pieces, palladium leafed, yet the pawns steal the show with their cheerfully colored tops. Noël Coward was renowned for his talent and famously for his wit, as I discovered once when I flipped open, The Sayings of Noël Coward, the first page I came to was page 59…
“[During the first World War a friend suggested that, if called up, Noël would be safest in the infantry since only one in five were killed] But you know how I am. Whenever I’m in a crowd I always pick up the check.” – New York Mirror, 1956.”
Purling London Art Chess sets are individually hand painted by specially commissioned British and international artists and no two sets are the same. From established figures to rising stars of the Contemporary Art scene, Purling has collaborated with 30 artists to date, including Sophie Matisse, Inkie and Thierry Noir. Complete with a numbered certificate signed by the artist and our deluxe, Birds-eye maple boards; each hand-carved, triple-weighted Art Chess is a miniature sculptural masterpiece.
“When I look at our Art Chess sets, I see a contemporary painting over a three dimensional surface. I want to explore the pieces from every angle, look around them and hold them. As I play Art Chess I see a moving and evolving painting, with opposing colours and sides mixing and integrating. The game of chess is a creative art form in itself and for me, it is perfect to play it with a unique and beautiful set. ”
Simon Purkis, Founder, Purling London