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Holiday gift fit for a queen or king: Custom silver chess set by sculptor Andy Scott
Andy Scott, The Game of Kings. Photo: Graeme Hunter.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The artist of the world’s largest equine sculptures, The Kelpies, has something more intimate but no less remarkable in mind for this holiday gift giving season. Andy Scott’s new artwork, The Game of Kings, thoughtfully combines the spirit and majesty of the horse with the game of chess – immortalizing it forever in finely detailed sterling silver. This chess set is available by commission only and is certain to attract discerning collectors, horse lovers and owners alike. The buyers will have the unique opportunity to individualize select chess pieces to be designed and sculpted in the likeness of the client’s own favorite horses or equine pursuits.

Every chess piece will be hand-sculpted by Andy Scott; each an equine celebration of the characters, moves and history of the game. The figures will then be rendered and finely worked in sterling silver by the exceptional craftsmen at Hamilton & Inches, with the black pieces oxidized to darken the finish and create two distinctive sets. When completed, the pieces will range in size from 10-15 inches high. The full collection will be presented on a 6ft6”x 6ft6” bespoke gaming table - designed and handcrafted in hardwoods and full-grain leather by Method Studio.

This extraordinary collaboration of fine artisan skills has been brought together as part of this year’s 150th anniversary of Royal Warrant holders, Scottish silversmith Hamilton & Inches. Artist Andy Scott shared, “The Game of Kings collaboration celebrates 150 years of Hamilton & Inches and is utterly unique in its scale.

I am really pleased to be creating something so intimate, and the figurative chess set pieces have a beauty and history that allows me to make truly distinctive sculptures to be rendered in silver. There is a mutual recognition and respect between myself and Hamilton & Inches’ team of silversmith craftsmen. Both our practices are rooted in the traditions of Scottish craft and artisanship, with emphasis on skills and a bespoke relationship with the client.”

Derived from the monumental head and neck composition of The Kelpies, each chess piece will be hand-sculpted by Andy Scott as a head and neck figurine and mounted on finely crafted pediment—beautifully engraved with an historical quote commemorating man’s ancient bond with the horse.

The Queen: A champion thoroughbred racehorse of finest Arabian extraction, bedecked in winner’s garlands, finery and ribbons, with her noble head poised as though under starters orders.

The King: A champion heavy draft horse, legendary “Equus Magnus” of the northerlands. An amalgaman of the great heavy horse breeds, with distinctive Roman nose, and hugely muscled neck. He too is bedecked in winner’s rosettes with his mane styled with show ribbons and pleats.

The Pawn: A pony; small and nimble, full of character, vigor and agility. Sculpted unadorned, head held high with main flowing.

The Rook: A chariot horse, evocative of the ancient Persian definition of the piece. He strains under the reins, adorned with leathered head-dress, bridle and collar.

The Knight: A heavy armored warhorse. Sculpted at rest, contemplative, resplendent in gleaming crinet and sheffron (head and neck armor).

The Bishop: A plumed horse; engaged in ecclesiastical pursuit, its blinkers adorned with the alchemical symbol for silver and head bowed in respect.

PRICE & INQUIRIES: Estimate upon request. The Game of Kings commission inquiries should be directed to

Andy Scott is one of Scotland's most renowned sculptors and is the recipient of four honorary doctorates from UK Universities including Glasgow Caledonian University New York (GCU) New York. Scott works in steel and bronze in the figurative and equine genres, and his distinctive hand-crafted sculptures combine traditional dexterity with contemporary fabrication techniques. Scott's portfolio includes works reaching to 100ft in height, and many have become much-loved local and national landmarks. His works can be found as far afield as Europe, Australia and the USA.

The Kelpies (pictured right) were unveiled in Falkirk in 2014, and are the largest equine artworks in the world. They have won multiple awards, including the BBC’s Landmark of The Year, the UK Structural Steel Award, the Saltire Award for Civil Engineering and been recognized as Scotland's National Treasure by The UK National Lottery. They've been adopted by both the UK and Scottish national tourism agencies and are estimated to have attracted over 2 million visitors.

Scott works mostly to private and public commission and will soon be opening a studio in Philadelphia, Pa.

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