"Saint Louis" set

The so-called “Saint Louis” chessboard and chessmen come from the Royal collections, even though the traditional saying that this set belonged to Saint Louis is certainly erroneous. The rock crystal and smoky quartz chessboard was indeed made in Germany in the 15th century, while the chessmen come from France. Overall, it remains a testimony of 15th century artists’ achievements and the preciousness of the French royal collections. Source: The Louvre Collections.

The board is composed of thirty two square plates of rock crystal alternating with thirty tow others of smoky quartz, all enclosed in silver rods. Under reach rock crystal plague is a silver spangle adorned with a silver flower with red enamel petal and green enamel leaves. According to the same pricinple, under each quartz plate was placed a black papillon decorated with a  flower in gilded silver whose leaves are in silver. These flowers therefore appear by transparency through the plates. 

The pieces are cut half in rock crystal (for the white pieces) and half in smoky quartz for the black pieces. Each piece has a hexagonal shape and was executed in the mass and then mounted in gilded silver.

So-called “Saint Louis” set

15th century. Source: Musée du Louvre.