Last updated on April 14, 2021
This Deluxe Backgammon post is our first look at a backgammon set from Helena Wood Art. The company produces a large range of quality backgammon sets handcrafted from various types of wood. Strictly speaking, as the company is based in Turkey, we should be using the term Tavla for their backgammon sets. The set we are looking at today is the Eco Backgammon set.
The cabinet is solidly constructed from what we think is rosewood. The outer cabinet is plain and almost rustic in appearance. It’s the type of board we would expect to find in a village cafe in rural Turkey, simple and rugged. However, this does not detract from the quality of the board, just a note towards the simplicity of the design. The playing field is more ornate with inlaid points of oak and walnut. There are checkers trays on either side of the board and hand-carved niches for the dice. The playing field has a pleasant lustrous feel to it because of the polishing and the varnished finish. The furnishings appear to brass, with solid internal hinges and a simple clasp to hold the set shut.
When closed the backgammon set is 50cm x 30cm x 7cm, when open 50cm x 60cm x 3.5cm. This set weighs a solid 3kg and as such is not ideal as a travel set. However, the set does include a useful fabric carry bag with a handle for transportation.
This set includes 30 boxwood checkers, 15 natural and 15 stained dark. They are a finger-dish style, as a result, they should be easy to move across the points. Traditional Tavla doesn’t use a doubling cube and as such, it is missing from the standard set. Additionally, again because of Turkish tradition, there is only a single set of small acrylic dice and no dice cups. However, this can be easily rectified by purchasing these items separately.
This is a well-built set, simple, but charming. As stated above, for this to be suitable for modern backgammon, additional dice, doubling cube and dice cups would need to be purchased to complete the set. At Deluxe Backgammon, we like what we see in this quality backgammon set. Because it’s made from quality materials and robustly constructed it should last for generations even with constant use. We have no hesitation in recommending this quality backgammon set. RRP at the time of writing £135.