Luxury Games & Gifts

Art Chess ‘Noctua’ by Purling Artist – KHAMAMA


  • Noctua
  • Ethically sourced Yellow-Edged Giant Owl Butterfly wings, ebony, boxwood, leather, 18 carat Gold
  • 52 x 52 cm chess board, 10.2 cm King
  • Hand-made in England


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PURLING LONDON ART CHESS sets have been exhibited at Christie’s, Saatchi Gallery and the World Chess Hall of Fame. Many of these objets d’art have been the choice of royalty, renowned interior designers, art collectors and chess Grandmasters. Purling has collaborated with over thirty artists, including Sophie Matisse, Mr. Doodle and Thierry Noir. Every Art Chess set is hand-finished in London, England and can be made bespoke to your wishes.


The KHAMAMA ‘Noctua’ features butterfly wings of the species Caligo atreus, also called the yellow-edged giant owl, due to its great wing span. The species is native to Middle America from Mexico to Peru. The wings used for this art work are from a sustainable butterfly farm.

The art of creating such marquetry with butterfly wings is called “Haute Art de Papillon”. Due to the tonal contrasts and varying patterns on the upper and reverse of the wings. both the dark and the light squares are made from the wings of the same butterfly species. 

The delicate Haute Art de Papillon panel is protected by museum-grade anti-reflective, UV-protective glass.  The chessboard is made with a striped Ebony Macassar Amara veneer.

The first word from the name of this butterfly Caligo is the Latin word for darkness, which refers to the fact that this butterfly species only flies at night. The second word Atreus is ancient Greek and means fearless.

In Greek mythology, Atreus was the king of Mycenae in the Peloponnese and the father of Agamemnon and Menelaus. The two brothers started the famous Trojan war by raising a fleet of a thousand ships and going to Troy to secure the return of Helen, the wife of king Menelaus and world’s most beautiful woman.

What greater inspiration could be behind a chessboard then one of the most iconic wars in ancient mythology? 

Remind yourself to be fearless during your next game of chess with this unique playable artwork.


  • Ethically sourced yellow-edged giant owl butterfly wings, Ebony Macassar Amara, Museum grade glass, ebony, boxwood, leather, 18 carat gold
  • Chess board 52 x 52 cm x 4cm depth (approx. 20 x 20 x 1.6″ depth), weight 8.5kg (19lb)
  • Chess pieces 34 hand-carved, triple-weighted, boxwood
  • King height 10.2 cm (4″), weight 75 g (approx. 2.65 oz)
  • Weight of boxed set including pieces and board 11.3 kg (25 lb)
  • Italian Nappa leather felts with 18 carat Gold embossed Purling logos
  • Flight case packaging, made in England
  • Signed certificate of authenticity
  • Complimentary express global shipping
  • Hand-made in England


Learn more about KHAMAMA HERE and how to commission a bespoke game HERE.

We pride ourselves on the highest quality and finest service. Please do get in touch with us and we will happily answer your questions, offer you recommendations or send you further high-resolution images, videos and specifications. Our Head of VIP & Client Relations Manager Annie will be delighted to assist. She can be contacted via Telephone: +44 (0)20 3290 6201; Email: annie@purlinglondon.com; or our contact form below.
We hope you enjoy our playful products!
Best regards,
The Purling London team

Dispatched from London U.K. via DHL / Express courier.
U.S.A. – USD prices include importation tax to U.S.A.
E.U. – E.U. customers can expect to be charged VAT @ 20 – 23% upon entry of the goods to their E.U. country by the courier (but no import tariffs). Customers who are VAT registered companies may be able to re-claim this VAT.
Rest of the World – Prices do not include importation taxes where applicable.

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