The board game

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In this hi-tech digital age, some families are returning to the simple pleasures of traditional board games. Games like chess and backgammon are often beautiful artifacts in their own right. Auction houses routinely sell antique chess sets for thousands of dollars, while brands like William & Son have carved out a reputation for selling exquisite luxury backgammon sets made from the finest leather or even crocodile skin (pictured). Investing in a luxury board game is something more and more of us are embracing – a fact not lost on design houses. Ralph Lauren Home, for example, has released a games compendium crafted from the finest materials including leather, walnut and silver leaf, while New York’s Bello Games offers myriad figurine chess sets, with themes ranging from the American Civil War to Robin Hood. But the ultimate in statement board games is surely the legendary Ringo Starr Chess Set. Made in 1973 by Asprey, in collaboration with designer Robin Cruikshank, each piece in this sterling silver and gold plated set was fashioned in the shape of Ringo’s hands, right down to the rings worn by the drummer. williamandson.com