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Another Blade Runner find...Sebastian's chess set
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andy
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Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just took another look at the website Rick and it is coming along very nicely. I love getting to see more of your professional work too.

Andy
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propsjonnyb
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Location: Helmdon, Northamptonshire UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do hope you do a run of these Rick , I for one will definitely buy one, even over my own meagre efforts as it captures exactly the filmed set ! -would you consider swaps ?? my two set versions for your one ? , no OK I'll wait until you offer them for sale put me on the back order list please .
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oldzey
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outstanding job, Rick!

Thank you very much for sharing the photos with the community.

I really enjoyed looking through your new website and it was very interesting to see some of your other projects.

Cheers!
Dave
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andy
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Location: Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a warning that this set on ebay is NOT one of the accurate ones, but one of the knock offs of the Sebastian set, so don't waste your money...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/extremely-rare-British-birds-for-blade-runner-prop-stone-craft-Nottingham-box-/121056050651?pt=UK_Toys_Games_Games&hash=item1c2f80bddb

Look closely at the bases and notice also the King Eagle does not have his chains.

Andy
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joberg
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the FYI Andy; to avoid this type of individuals, you'll have to do your homework thouroughly. I hope nobody will pay too much for it.
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Hop Frog
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rick, Andy, Propsummit:

Last week I phoned Phil at Hoyle's in the UK, and had a nice chat with him and his sister about this set.

His email is: phil@hoylesonline.com

He told me some interesting things, and I also came across this info from Hoyle's site:

"Before we opened our traditional games shop, we were involved in chess set manufacture for three decades under the aegis of Sally and Tony Robertson and our ornamental chess sets are now manufactured by Mascott, still in England. Of course, our name is for ever associated with Hoyle's Rules of Games, and Hoyle has been telling you how to play Cribbage to Baccarat, Scrabble to Crown and Anchor since 1760.

History:

Hoyle's Rules of Games has been continuously published since 1760 and, yes you can buy the current edition in the shop. Games retailers since 1994 in Banbury and then 1997 in Oxford.

1760 - Hoyle's Rules of Games first published.
1975 - Sally and Tony Robertson introduce the concept of ornamental, (i.e. non - Staunton) chess sets to England. Staunton design being introduced as a way of easing competitive chess play with standard easily recognised designs for each chess piece, based on the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. Before that Chess sets design was widely variable mainly based on competing armies. These days we sell around 200 different non-Staunton designs.
2005 - Hoyle's cease production of chess sets, (the Banbury Studio brand), but the majority of their designs continue to be available, now manufactured by Mascott in Somerset, England.
2007 - Hoyle's takes over the retail arm in Oxford previously run by Oxford Heritage Limited."

From what I gathered talking with Phil, and from this history, I believe Hoyle's contracted with Tony and Sally Robertson at Banbury Studios in the UK to make many of their ornamental sets, including our birds set, starting around 1975 or so. The set cost about 70 pounds, and I even came across and old link at Hoyle's still listing it for sale.

Here is a link I found for the original set:

https://web37.secure-secure.co.uk/tascmanagement.co.uk/hoyles/p72.htm

They continued selling these sets until Tony and Sally Robertson died, I'm not sure when exactly that was, but may have been around 2001 or 2002, because he told me that sets made before 2001-2002 are best. After they died Hoyle's started contracting with Mascott in England, but the original molds for all of the Banbury Studios stuff was purchased by a gentleman named Steve someone, Phil could not recall his last name, but Steve ? tried to make a go of selling pieces but went bankrupt and moved to France, and has not been heard from again. Phil has tried many times to contact him to no avail, eventually tracked him down to France, but told me he had moved on by then, and could not be located thereafter. He could not recall his last name, so I doubt he could be found at this point.

Subsequent sets were either knock-offs, or made by Mascott, and much lower quality, as you observed when you bought your set. By the time you bought it, I believe the Robertson's had died, and their molds and remaining pieces had been sold, so Hoyle's had to find substitutes.

I found this photo online, and contacted it's owner. He has given me permission to post it here, but asks not to be contacted further about it. I am sure it is a photo of one of the original Banbury Studios sets. Just look at the detail on it. He photographed the set while on vacation in the UK, visiting a friend, who's father owned the set. I don't know if you have seen this picture, but it is very valuable, as it may be one of the few pictures taken of an original set. The detail is just superb. You have a good view of the pawns, and also of the king and queen. From what I gather the original Banbury set had one side pawns of wrens, and opposing side king fisher pawns. Unfortunately, he has no further pictures.

I would like to join you on this quest to try to find an original Banbury Studios set, and perhaps to replicate it as closely as possible.

I have immense respect and admiration for you, Rick and for all that you and others on propsummit have done and are doing to bring this set back to life. I find it very sad that the original molds may be lost forever.



Last edited by Hop Frog on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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joberg
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Hop Frog and thanks for sharing this thourough info on that famous chess set To try to get an original would be great of course (one can hope) and to try to make molds of these would be fantastic. The quest never stopped and it's the chase that makes it interesting and exciting
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Hop Frog
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joberg wrote:
Welcome Hop Frog and thanks for sharing this thourough info on that famous chess set To try to get an original would be great of course (one can hope) and to try to make molds of these would be fantastic. The quest never stopped and it's the chase that makes it interesting and exciting


Thank you, Joberg! Great to be here. I forgot to say that Phil also emailed me to say that Hoyle's plans on releasing a Mascott version of the bird's set later this year. I have not seen one, and have no idea how close it is to the Banbury set.
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joberg
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome and it will be interesting to see if, indeed, it'll come close to to the Banbury one . Thanks for the FYI
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Mr Webber
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to see this again, incredible background information Hop Frog.
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doppelganger01
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Hop Frog, for finding out the history of this set. I tried in vain in the late 90s and then later in the mid 2000s. I had been so frustrated by my failed efforts to acquire a set like Sebastian's that I gave up searching and decided to make my own interpretive version. I have never seen a more exquisite set, like the one pictured in your photo. The real one is truly a beautiful work of carved art. Thank you again for this information.

Sincerely,
Rick
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panaflex
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I followed the link and the buy function is still active...
Is this an oversight or?
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Hop Frog
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cart works but you cannot complete the sale. I think it's an archived page link that is broken. [/quote]
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andy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does sound like the story I heard from Phil back when I contacted him years ago. I have one of the original sets, but only the kingfisher pawns, and not the wrens. The sets they sold later do not seem to have same character, and miss many of the details. I have seen at least three different versions of the set, not including the pawn variations on the original. Mine also has an artists name incised in it, or a tribute to one of the greatest chess players of all time "R. Fisher". The funny thing about this set has been the difficulty of finding any good information about it, to the point it seemed like there was something significant about this set that no one wanted to talk about.

Andy
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Hop Frog
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy wrote:
That does sound like the story I heard from Phil back when I contacted him years ago. I have one of the original sets, but only the kingfisher pawns, and not the wrens. The sets they sold later do not seem to have same character, and miss many of the details. I have seen at least three different versions of the set, not including the pawn variations on the original. Mine also has an artists name incised in it, or a tribute to one of the greatest chess players of all time "R. Fisher". The funny thing about this set has been the difficulty of finding any good information about it, to the point it seemed like there was something significant about this set that no one wanted to talk about.

Andy

I agree, Andy. It's weird. For a set that was sold for almost three decades, these seem very hard to find. I suppose people who have it love it too much to sell, or realize it's value due to Blade Runner and wish to save it, or both. Still, I would have expected to see some on eBay over the last few years. One thing I would like to do if I can find someone to loan me one of each of the pieces of an original Banbury set would be to do a 3D laser scan of the pieces and recreate them with a 3D printer. Then those could be remolded, or even increased slightly in size and remolded, etc.
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panaflex
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live near a huge antiques dealer that has a semi annual event that is acres acres of vendors from across the country. I've been thinking about going to the next of these events to hunt for a set.

Given that there are variations on this set and I don't know all the details, are there any tells that I can look for in terms of the Banbury? If I were to get lucky and find one, I would certainly share all pieces for scanning/printing etc.

Thanks.
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andy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chain with the crown around the neck is a tell for the eagle kings. The "ears" or feather tufts on the owl bishop, as well as the Bishop's Miter, The peacock(peahen) plume on the queen, The armored gauntlet the knight falcon sits on, and a few other details. We should have pics in the thread throughout to compare to each other with. The one(s) currently on ebay are the knock offs as far as I am concerned. They real ones have shown up before, but almost always in England.

Andy
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andy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got a fully accurate set...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271294638078?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I just missed another that had a compartmentalized box with no labels for a similar price. With a buy it now I took no chances this time. I have one of Rick's sets too. Still hoping to solve the mysteries behind this set as well.

Andy
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Staar
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy wrote:
Finally got a fully accurate set...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271294638078?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I just missed another that had a compartmentalized box with no labels for a similar price. With a buy it now I took no chances this time. I have one of Rick's sets too. Still hoping to solve the mysteries behind this set as well.

Andy


A perfect score Andy - well done mate!

Fascinating to see this and comparing it to the set of Rick's I own because there is a big part of me that has to say that although this is the real deal, as happened with the PKD, I think Rick's interpretation of the chess set is actually more beautiful than the original…

Its interesting seeing how Rick's magnificent work has carved a special place of its own in the BR world.

High regards
MARK
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joberg
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats Andy; good score on that one Cool (hoping it wasn't too expensive).

Staar, you're right about Rick, he certainly has a special place into the BR world with his artistic interpretations
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