Last updated on August 19, 2023
In this post, we take a look at the Philos 1157 Iraklia Backgammon set. I don’t own this particular board, but I have seen one first-hand and I was impressed. It was a nice piece, with a standard cassette design and a magnetic lock. To be honest, the Philos packaging is uninspiring when compared to say a Jaques of London set, but what we are truly interested in is the luxury backgammon set inside.
It is a large board. The dimensions of this quality backgammon set when closed are 6.5cm x 49cm x 30cm (Height x Width x Depth). It weighs a hefty 3kg so it is definitely not a travel set, this one is for the home. The board is made from hevea wood, otherwise known as rubberwood. It is considered to be environmentally friendly wood because these are trees harvested from rubber plantations after they have completed the latex-producing cycle. The hevea wood has been stained to give it a walnut finish and the outer lid comes with an attractive engraved starburst design. Some might argue that it is trying to be something it isn’t with the walnut staining. I would counter that this is acceptable because of the sustainably sourced materials.
The playing field itself is constructed from walnut-stained hevea wood with ebony and lime inlays. Because hevea wood is a tropical hardwood it should be hard-wearing and durable. I cannot see why this luxury backgammon set couldn’t last for generations. Interestingly, I couldn’t find any information on how the set was constructed. Usually, if a board is handcrafted, it is used as a selling point. Because we can’t find any reference to handcrafting, we assume this is constructed on some kind of production line.
Included in the set is a standard set of plastic dice in ivory and brown and a doubling cube. If you have read some of the other posts or pages on Deluxe Backgammon you would know that we would replace these with wooden dice purely for the aesthetics. There are also two dice cups, again made from hevea wood and stained walnut. This is a nice touch because so many backgammon sets come supplied with plastic or faux leather dice cups. Finally, the checkers are made from alder and are natural and black stained. They are perfectly sized for the inlaid points.
This Philos 1157 Iraklia backgammon set ticks a few boxes for us at Deluxe Backgammon. It is a handsome looking board, solidly constructed and robust. It’s been made from sustainably sourced materials and we would have no hesitation in recommending it as a Deluxe Backgammon set. RRP at the time of writing is £109.00.
Manufacturer’s reference: Philos_1157