Last updated on November 1, 2022
Dal Negro of Italy have been the leading manufacturer of mass-produced luxury backgammon boards since the 1950s. The Dal Negro Walnut Oxford Backgammon set is a first-class 20-inch luxury backgammon set made with a solid walnut cabinet.
The set features an ornate lid with a geometric mosaic created using parquetry. The grain in the walnut ensures that every luxury backgammon set board is a unique work of art. The playing field includes maple and tulipwood points inlaid using the marquetry technique. This set is virtually identical to the Dal Negro London Backgammon set in construction. The contrasting parquetry patterns on the lid are the main difference.
The hinges have been subtly engineered to sit within the frame. The set is also secured, when closed, by magnetic catches. This is fine for home use, but something more secure would be required if this was to be regularly transported. This is because there are no external furnishings on the cabinet, such as a handle. These two features create a streamlined effect on the set.
The set includes boxwood backgammon checkers. These are nicely turned and fit the points nicely. When out of play the checkers can be stored in convenient slots at the sides of the set. There are four standard plastic dice and a doubling cube. As per usual, at Deluxe Backgammon we would have these replaced with wooden dice for social play, because of the aesthetics of wood. The least desirable feature of this set is the plain dice cups because they are made of plastic. Dal Negro should replace these with a nice set of boxwood dice cups. Otherwise, the accessories are perfectly fine.
The dimensions are virtually identical to the Dal Negro London Backgammon set. When closed, the dimensions of this quality backgammon set 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 2.3km, but it feels heavier. We think this is a positive illusion because of the robust construction of this backgammon set. Heavier backgammon sets and pieces are desirable because the checkers are less likely to be moved inadvertently during play. It feels solid when you hold it in your hand and you know it has been manufactured to last several generations.
The Dal Negro Oxford Walnut Backgammon set is a beautifully crafted set that is only let down because of the poor-quality plastic dice cups. Replace these with a set of wooden or leather dice cups and you have a Deluxe Backgammon set. RRP at the time of writing is £225.95.
Manufacturer’s reference: 804510