Medieval hand painted Mahogany chess set
Masterfully hand painted, this themed chess set, focusing on Canterbury Cathedral, stands on a stunning mahogany chess board. The King in this themed chess set is Henry IV, the man who landed at Hull while King Richard was away, starting what is now known as the ‘War of the Roses.’ During his reign, King Henry IV fought enemies on every side and would eventually be laid to rest in Canterbury Cathedral. Beside him, in an alabaster tomb, is Queen Joan of Navarre. In her living years the queen had nine children in a previous marriage and then none with King Henry, a fact that had many suspect her of witchcraft. However, after years of house arrest on sorcery charges she was finally acquitted and, after 15 years of living free, she was placed next to her second husband in the Canterbury Cathedral tombs. In that same medieval cathedral Archbishop Thomas Becket was slain by four French knights who were looking to impress King Henry, who was at loggerheads with Becket about the balance between church and royal prominence in England. The Archbishop’s death on the alter steps led to the Cathedral becoming a holy pilgrimage after he was quickly canonised by the church. Devoted to this memory was our armoured knight in this themed chess set, Edward the Black Prince. One of the most decorated royal military men in English history, the Prince made offerings at the Bishop’s shrine after capturing the French King John II at Poitiers. More than 100 years after the Black Prince’s arrival Canterbury Cathedral was given the Bell Harry Tower, a structure made up of 480,000 bricks. This extraordinary structure has been reimagined delicately and then hand painted to create the castle of this themed chess set. Cathedral Vergers, who take care of the everyday working of the cathedral, are the pawns of this beautifully crafted set.