The Scottish Chess Pieces are based on historic national figures and symbols.
King - Robert the Bruce, King of Scots (1306 - 1329) Arguably Scotland's most famous ruler and the one who did most, before and during his reign, to ensure the country's survival as an independent nation. Here he is dressed for battle carrying an axe similar to that used to slay Henry de Bohun on the eve of the Battle of Bannockburn. You can also see the symbol of his kingship in the circlet that adorns the chainmail on his head.
Queen - Mary Queen of Scots (1542 - 1567) Mary came to the throne of Scotland as an infant of only six days after her father died. Not only was she queen of Scotland in her own right but was also queen consort of France as the wife of Francis II for a brief period before his death. She was a tall and strikingly beautiful woman of the age and was well known for her grace and athleticism. She was executed while being held as a prisoner of Elizabeth I of England. This after being forced by Scotland's Nobles to abdicate her Scottish throne in favour of her son James VI.
Bishop - John Knox. The most important figure in Scotland's reformation and the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. As a young man he had studied at St Andrews University before working as a notary-priest. He was inspired by early church reformers and was caught up in the political turmoil of the age, including the murder of catholic cardinal David Beaton, which resulted in his exile to England. When the Catholic Queen Mary of England came to the throne he was forced into further exile in Europe. Here he met and was influenced by John Calvin. On his return to Scotland he led the Protestant Reformation in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility.
Knight - Sir William Wallace. There is no greater influence on the Scottish psyche than the knight from Elderslie. Scotland's most celebrated hero was not a commoner as frequently portrayed but the son of a minor noble. His deeds have been embellished upon and exaggerated for more than 700 years. However, what is not in doubt is that at a time when his country was battered and belittled and on the brink of collapse, he rose from those relatively humble beginnings to save it and instill a sense of national pride which endures to this day.
Rook - Scottish Tower House. Although sometimes described as Castles they are typically designed as a dwelling but with a fortified nature for defensive purposes. These houses began to appear in the middle ages in areas of strategic importance throughout Europe. They were particularly prevalent in the sometimes lawless Scotland/England border regions. Many fine examples of them still exist such as the Tower of Hallbar.
Pawn - Scottish Thistle. This ancient symbol of Scotland has been a national emblem since the middle of the 13th century and the time of King Alexander III. Legend has it that in an attempt to surprise a Scottish army during the cover of darkness a force of Viking soldiers led by the Norwegian King Haakon himself removed their socks to ensure a silent approach. What the vikings didn't expect was the ground being covered in sharp thistles. The resultant screams alerted the sleeping clansmen and the battle which followed delivered a great victory to the Scots.
Scottish half set in Azure
Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. Scottish King and Queen in Azure
Thistle. Scottish Pawn in Azure.
Scottish half set in Azure
King Height - 110mm
Maximum Base Width - 40mm (All Pieces)
Set Weight (32 Pieces) - 3.0 kg