Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Babushka Chess Set

Red and Blue Babushka Chess Set by Yellow Mountain



There are many ways to bring different cultures into the classroom.  You can have children bring in artifacts or food from their homes that their ancestors may have cooked. You can hold a mini folk fair. 

Another way might be to bring in one of your own artifacts into the classroom and explain its connection to your own background.  This thought occurred to me when I first laid eyes on the Red and Blue Babushka Chess Set, made in Poland, and sold by Yellow Mountain. I am of Polish descent, and when I saw it, I cried. It touched my heart and brought back all the memories I had of my grandmother and grandfather's house, all the arts and crafts I had seen in museums and folk stores throughout my life.  Most of all, it brought back to mind my trip to Poland over 20 years ago.

The set is made of carefully carved birch. Light to the touch, but heavy enough for a professional chess player. Each piece is hand painted, the bottom red or blue to designate to whom the pieces belong.  The pawns look like a line of beautiful Matryoskas or nesting dolls, all sisters of the same family with beautiful eyes and delicately painted lashes.Their dresses are the traditional dresses of their homeland.
The knights are exquisitely designed with ears pieces every so gently at the correct angles.  They will delight children and amuse adults with the expressions of their nostrils.

The bishops have pointed hats that bishops sometimes wear. The rooks are like smoothly pointed wooden bullets  Oh and what you have been waiting for, the Kings and Queens.  The Queen is definitely direct relation to the pawns. She is beautiful, taller and dressed in royal attire with a thin gold ring around her head.  The King, unmistakeably the King, with gold pointed crown and a sword in his hand.


The Velveteen Chess Piece Beds

All of these exquisite pieces fit snugly in each of their own green velveteen beds. The case is as carefully crafted as each of the individual pieces. Just to have each piece, with its individual characteristics fit that snugly in place, required a person of high woodworking skill to do so. 



There are the professional markings of letters and numbers carved and varnished around the board the doubles as the case. The case is made of  light birch and beech each square placed exactly close to the other with pinpoint edging that makes one wonder if it was handmade or with lazor.  It's overall beauty and finish make you forget that point as you run your hand over the very smooth wood. You can smell the wonderful wood aroma as soon as you open the cardboard box in which it comes. The hinges are brass and the latches as well, but they set off like gold against the wood.

The entire set is marked as "Made in Poland" but Yellow Mountain says that they are made in the fashion of Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and Slovakian tradition and they are. They are sure to please anyone of these and other close related countries.

It is my opinion, that this chess set is the beautiful, exquisite set made in its' countries traditional decoration.  I believe that this gorgeous set could be sold for more than Yellow Mountain is asking.  I want to thank Yellow Mountain for their generosity.  You must visit their website. Their chess sets and games can also be found on Amazon

For more on the Yellow Mountain Imports, Babushka (Red and blue) Chess Set watch the above video.

This set was given to me in exchange for an honest review.  This is my honest review and all opinions are my own. 

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