Custom Story: Africa Tabletop Backgammon

Croc Brown

Last winter we received a request to make a unique custom tabletop backgammon board. The request was from Tom Phillips who wanted to give his son a very special gift.

Here are Tom’s own words:
     “Last July and early August, we went on a safari to Kenya, a family reunion to celebrate two big anniversaries, a 15th and a 50th. There were ten of us, ages 6 to 72. We returned with great memories of the trip and being with each other.
     Much of Kenya is bush land, great plains of rolling grasses in breathtaking combinations of greens, yellows, browns and grays, bordered by the Great Rift Valley and dotted with some spectacular mountains. Oh yes, and animals and the fascinating Maasai and Samburu peoples, too.
     Our son, John, and one of our guides spent “down times” (of which there not many!) playing backgammon in lodges between stays in tented camps out in the bush. As a special present for John, I bought a set of chequers (spelt “chequers” because Kenya was formerly British East Africa) from a shop on the outskirts of Nairobi. They are bronze casts of lion and buffalo paw prints.
     I wanted a custom made board, and needed it because the pieces were larger than usual. Crisloid’s execution was everything I hoped for. The board’s surface and the patterns are the colors of the bush and they frame the pieces like a picture. Best of all, the whole set represents many wonderful memories for us all.

These special pieces came from MatBronze Art Gallery and Foundry in Nairobi, Kenya. They’re Facebook page is: and website:

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