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  • Alexandra Llewellyn

    from London, United Kingdom

    Take a new world look at the oldest board game on the planet

Alexandra Llewellyn storefront-large

About Alexandra Llewellyn

Taking a modern approach to the world's oldest board game, London-based Alexandra Llewellyn handcrafts bespoke backgammon boards from luxe materials like gold, leather, aluminum and exotic woods. The inspiration for her 2010 namesake line of backgammon boards extends to her childhood, when she first discovered the game alongside her step-grandfather while strolling the alleys of Cairo. Her future heirloom pieces are meant to be passed down from generation to generation.

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This Is the Real Game of Thrones

 

1. Backgammon, the oldest board game in history, has been played by kings, emperors and ordinary folk for millennia. 2. Alexandra Llewellyn makes the most gorgeous backgammon sets we’ve ever seen. 3. What are you waiting for?

 

BY Nancy MacDonell

 

 

Briefly

 

Alexandra Llewellyn’s beautifully designed and crafted sets take the world’s oldest board game and give it a whole new spin. Whether your yen is for fin-de-siecle pin-ups or meticulously rendered botanicals, she’s got your back—gammon, that is.

 

 

The Whole Story

 

Llewellyn is a lifelong backgammon lover. She acquired her fondness for the game as a child, when she would play with her step-grandfather in the backstreets of Cairo. “I adored my games with men from a different generation, culture, and language—we played and laughed and were able to communicate through the roll of dice. It was magical,” she says. In December 2010, expecting the project to be short-lived, Llewellyn launched four backgammon designs. Five years later, the design and production of the sets form the majority of her work, including a high percentage of custom orders. “My designs are cross-generational and loved by men and women alike,” she says. “In my opinion our greatest luxury is time, something I hope my games enable.”

 

 

The Products

 

“Creating backgammon boards and games tables is a pretty unique vocation and therefore a process in itself!” Llewellyn says. To produce her stunning boards and playing pieces, she sources semi-precious stones, rare woods, leathers, metals, glass and fabrics. “The beauty of what I do is that each piece can be made using a different material," Llewellyn says. "I adore woods, and am using a lot of bog oak at the moment—wood that has been preserved in peat bogs for up to 6,000 years. I use marquetry as well painting a lot of the pieces myself. I always feel that the hand-touch of the artist adds so much depth to a piece.”

 

 

Five Minutes With Alexandra Llewellyn

 

 

 Q: What is a time when you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone?

Alexandra Llewellyn: Designing a pair of shoes and a circular backgammon board I made for Clarks Rebooted which is in partnership with the landmine clearance organization The HALO Trust. I have never designed a pair of shoes before, and I don’t think a backgammon board has been round before!

 

Q: If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

AL: Enjoy it all more—it’s all going to work out okay!

 

Q: What makes you happy?

AL: My work and the incredible craftsmen I have the honor to work with. An afternoon to sketch and think. When a client receives a commission and is thrilled with it.

 

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