@RealBulldozer, I think there may be (??) a very slight difference between the "Player's Choice" and the #35. The PC picture above "looks" like my #35 set but I can't tell for sure. I can take some shots of my #35 set (triple weighted but no "h" designation on the box) if you like. Perhaps a side by side comparison with the Chesshouse Paladin set? Your call.
When did they stop using bakelite, and start using the softer plastic?
I don't think Drueke ever used bakelite.
I think the players choice predated the 35/36 series - they were a bit lighter weighted (I think just by their feel - never actually weighed them) and came in a large flatter box with a board and in at least two sizes - the same size as the 35/36 sets and one a bit smaller - but they were the same mold patterns as the 35/36 series. There was one even smaller set of that pattern but I don't know if it was ever marketed as part of the player's choice series. I have a few of the players choice sets and at least one of them has white pieces as opposed the usual manilla colored ones.
There was an earlier series of plastic pieces that came in white,red and black with a hexagon base (fairly similar to the little jewel series). These are generally not particularly desireable.
As far as I know (and was mentioned earlier) Drueke never used bakelite in their sets.
The early Drueke wood sets were not terribly distinguished (in fact they were pretty crude) - which I suspect drives down their desirablity. The only early wooden Drueke set I have ever seen that went for much was an old variant set of some sort with extra pieces.
Here's how the set was described in the 1971 USCF catalog:
A few years later we can see the sliding-top wooden box version:
I'm a Drueke collector, of sorts. The so-called "Player's Choice" pattern was marketed also under the "Luxury Line" moniker and I know some of those had marbling. I have such a set. I assume other brandings of the set may have been marbled, as well.
I own two Drueke chess cases, one made of wood, the other of masonite. These have swivel doors to contain the pieces and two inch squares. Both were sold with the plastic, Player's Choice pieces. The wooden case is truly a fine piece of work and one of the nicer chess items I own. This might be what the OP remembers.
BTW, the models 35, 35H, 36, Luxury Line, and others all refer to the same pattern and the same molds. The model 35 was single weighted, the 35H was double-weighted, the 36 triple weighted. The king was/is 3.5 inches - OK on 2 1/4 inch squares, perfect on 2 inch squares. Rare are the white and/or red sets, but they exist. I believe there might have been an even larger "Player's Choice" set, marketed as "The Imperial," or model 38, but don't quote me - memory plays tricks. It would be a rare item, if it exists.
I have the No. 32 pieces, 2.5" king.
Goes well with the homemade board.
The normal size one, with folding linen board:
For the hell of it, a small Drueke peg set I have:
And an older Drueke peg set before they switched over to the new plastic:
I also had a big Drueke peg set with the newer plastic but traded it away (for the 2.5" Drueke, actually). I still have a magnetic folding set with the newer pieces and a walnut cased board, but the dark pieces are a deep chocolate brown. I use them with a bigger folding board:
If I don't chase after a No. 35 you can guess why. These are just a few of my sets. I have plenty!
Nice, nice, nice!
Those folding Drueke (linen, not cardboard) chess boards are really nice and darned near impossible to find. You can easily get one of the sets, if you're patient and don't mind the price. But the folding boards? No one wants to part with them!
I read one guy's description of his auction and he described his Drueke linen board as having a square just under two inches.
Maybe all the boards that came with the pieces were that way?
Having run through my old catalogs, the USCF sold them separately but with 2-1/4" squares. They also sold a Newell Banks (checkers guy) folding linen board of the same size, with the same characteristic hidden crease, i.e. no gap along the fold. For a decent price too.
The relatively recent HOS folding linen board had a noticable gap and died an unlamented death.
I suppose the budget folding board market belongs to the pvc/vinyl type now--I indeed like mine to play on--and of course they don't stain like linen does. Still, I'd like one of those old folding linen boards. I'd give it some cherished use.
One of the earlier Drueke wood sets was just listed on Ebay:
As well as this one with a similar set, and a Drueke wooden board in a style I haven't seen before:
@Karapovian - Your experience with Drueke sets is no doubt much greater than mine if you are a collector. However, my #35 set, cardboard box which says "No. 35 Simulated Wood Chessman" contains triple-weighted pieces and no "H" designation. The king is 3-5/8" (without the felt bottom). I think I purchased it from the USCF around 1970 but I'm not sure.
Interesting. Can you post a few pics of your set?
Yes. Give me some time after the Candidate match to photograph it along with the box. I'll return ....
Here are two photos of the No. 35 set I have with the box which clearly shows no "H" or triple weight designation.
Thanks. A nice specimen. :) I don't understand about the weighting but I have no reason to doubt you.
BTW, I don't use this model anymore. Well, rarely. It was arguably state-of-the-art plastic when I was young, though. Now I prefer the HOS Collector for daily use but still have a soft spot for ye olde Drueke! To me, they are Americana and worth owning.
Thanks for posting the pics!
Yes, the 2 1/4 inch, four-fold HOS linen boards were very disappointing.
HOS also made 2 3/4 inch single-fold linen boards and those are very nice. I have a few, but the 2 3/4 inch size is not optimal (for me). Besides, where does a duffer like me get off bringing four-star gear when I play only a one-star game? HOS advertised 2 1/4 inch single-folds but I never found one in stock.
Then HOS introduced folding Masonite boards and these were pretty nice, but they, too, were discontinued.
I agree about the Wholesale chess PVC boards. They are functional, look good, and are priced right. I bought one for my grandson.
Nice pics Mike; Like I said they must have been put in the wrong box. The sets and the box match my two sets exactly. And I did not buy both of my sets at the same time.
Well, I made it over to my parents for Easter lunch, and was able to check out his board and pieces. Most of them wish the same as the ones I recently purchased on ebay (within a game either way). The only ones that varied much were the pawns. The ones with my newly acquired set weigh 30 grams, while his average 15 grams. So that is what I need .... four 15 gram black pawns. If anyone knows of where these could be had, please contact me. I did notice that his set seemed just a bit more "black". Maybe a tad bit glossed. The felt on the bottom was a darker shade of green as well. I was able to take photos of the pawn differences, the felt differences, the marbling on the white pieces (it actually shows up well), and of the board with the swing out storage compartments (2" squares and about 17 3/8 square overall). I, however, can't figure out how to post them.
Just thought this thread may be interested in this rarity that started my chess set collecting, Drueke Player's Choice No. 40 Red - Ivory: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14262617/temp/Chess%20Inventory%20-%203020.jpg
@wickawack WOW! That is a sharp looking set!