Last updated on January 14, 2021
Dal Negro’s origins date back to 1756 as a factory producing playing cards in the city of Treviso, Italy. The original company was acquired by the Dal Negro family in 1928. They expanded their product range from playing cards to include traditional games such as backgammon. They have been a leading manufacturer of quality mass-produced luxury backgammon boards since the1950s. The Dal Negro Walnut York Backgammon set is a fine example of their collection.
This set features an ornate lid with a geometric mosaic created using parquetry. The pattern on the York backgammon set is a cross-like shape. The vivid walnut grain is prominently displayed. The playing field includes maple and tulipwood points inlaid using the marquetry technique. This set is identical to the Dal Negro London Backgammon set and the Dal Negro Oxford Backgammon set in terms of construction. The contrasting parquetry patterns on the lid are the main difference.
The hinges have been engineered to subtlety sit within the frame. The set is kept closed by elegant magnetic catches, which are barely visible. This is fine for home use, but something more secure would be required if this was to be used as a travel set. Because there are no external furnishings on the cabinet the set has a neat, streamlined look.
The set includes 3.5cm boxwood backgammon checkers. These are pleasantly shaped and fit the points precisely. When out of play the checkers can be kept in the storage slots at the sides of the board. There are four standard plastic dice and a doubling cube. At Deluxe Backgammon we would have these replaced with wooden dice for social play because of the tactile qualities of the wood. The worst feature of this set is the plastic dice cups, which are standard in Dal Negro backgammon sets. It’s a shame because Dal Negro could easily replace these with a nice set of boxwood dice cups.
The dimensions are identical to the Dal Negro London Backgammon set and the Dal Negro Oxford Backgammon set. The measurements of this quality backgammon set when closed are: 5.5cm x 50.5cm x 30.8cm and open: 2.7cm x 50.5cm x 61.8cm (Height x Width x Depth). It weighs 2.3kg, but seems heavier. It feels robust when you hold it in your hands. Consequently, you know it has been constructed to last several lifetimes.
This is a beautifully made set that is only let down because of the plastic dice cups. Replace these with a set of wooden or leather dice cups and you have a Deluxe Backgammon set. It is important to note that the only real difference between the York, London and Oxford sets is the parquetry pattern on the lid. RRP at the time of writing is £225.95.
Manufacturer’s reference: 804509