The House of Hauteville Chess Set is an amazing piece of workmanship. Carolyn Cavanaugh designed the House of Hauteville Chess Set. It is now available in limited quantities . An initial production of this Chess Work of Art was donated to the Smithsonian’s benefit auction.
“The inspiration for this set of chessmen came from a friend who asked me to make a mantle piece based on a pawn she had seen in a book by John Norwich. I read the book, The Normans in Sicily, and fell in love with the idea of these brave men. The knights and the pawn are directly based on some 11th century Norman wood chessmen that have been preserved at The Biblioteque de National in France. The other pieces are original imaginings. I gave the king a cat because there is a saying (of later vintage) that “a cat may look upon a king.” The queen has a hawk because she is a warrior woman. I’ve named the king and queen after the famous warrior duo, Robert Guiscard and his wife Sichelgaita. I often refer to the knights as Tancred and Drogo, also names in the Norman Hauteville family.”
“I once attended a lecture by Lord Norwich at the Smithsonian. He was not talking about his book on the Normans, but about his mother. Nonetheless I arranged to have someone at Smithsonian give him the six little figures to take home with him. He wrote me a letter of thanks and said he keeps them on the mantle. John Julius Norwich is a brilliant writer and has many wonderful books to his credit.”
– Carolyn Cavanaugh; Creator of The House of Hauteville Chessmen
The House of Hauteville Chess Pieces are cast in stone resin, and handcrafted entirely in the US. The pieces are of a substantial size, varying from 3 to 5 inches tall.
- 32 chess pieces
- Constructed from marble resin.
- House of Hauteville King size: 5″
- House of Hauteville Pawn size: 3 1/4″
- Base size: 1 7/8″
- Bases felted with four green dots
- Weight: 9+ pounds. Weight varies slightly from set to set.
The House of Hauteville Chess Board: The board is handcrafted in the USA from locally sourced maple and walnut hardwoods.
Style – The board is designed with subtle grooves and beveled edges.
Size – 21″ square chess board with 2 1/4″ squares.