Last updated on November 26, 2023
One of my favourite sets (a Jaques of London, mahogany board) came with two oval-shaped leatherette dice cups, which let down an otherwise quality set. The size and shape of the cups were perfect for the folding board, but they really needed to be genuine leather to do justice to the board. As much as I searched online, I was unable to find a genuine leather replacement. In fact, I struggled to find any leather cups that were oval in shape. I also discovered that you need to be careful clicking on links after searching for ‘bespoke leather’.
After several hours of searching, I gave up and decided to consider having the dice cups custom-made. Again I spent hours looking at various websites before I found one that clicked: Kingsley Leather. I liked the work that was exhibited on the website and I liked the story behind the owner, Kingsley. Like so many others Kingsley had an office-bound day job where he spent a lot of his time in front of a computer screen. He wanted a ‘manly’ craft that would take him away from a computer, but at the same time be creatively challenging. This inspired him to start learning about leatherworking. Now he crafts a range of quality leather goods including belts, wallets and cufflinks. He also crafts bespoke goods on request.
I emailed Kingsley and requested a quote. I included photos of the existing dice cups and specified the dimensions. Kingsley was happy to help and provided a price and outlined the project plan. After I confirmed my interest, the next stage was for Kingsley to provide a blueprint for the work. This he did and the project was underway with a scheduled completion time of three weeks.
Kingsley kept me up to date with the project, requesting additional photographs of the original dice cups. At one point it was clear to Kingsley that the planned ‘trip’ in the rim of the cups would not work, so he supplied a revised blueprint for my approval. He delivered the cups on time and on budget.
The cups are perfect. They have a genuine leather feel and smell. I just know that they will look better with age. The sound of the dice shaking in the cup echoes across the board. The addition of these dice cups turns a quality board into a Deluxe Backgammon set.
Kingsley is keen, crafts quality goods and runs the job like a full-scale project. He keeps you informed throughout the process. The packaging is a nice touch, especially the branded linen bags for each cup. I highly recommended the quality of his work and his professional service. He can be contacted via the Kingsley Leather website.