Before electronic phone platforms lured hordes of kids to stare into their palms at lethal video games, a diversion that involved human interaction could be found in homes across America when cold weather kept people indoors. The old-school board game drew families into three-dimensional competition. Their trouble was that boards would inevitably tear apart, boxes crush and tokens and tiles lose themselves in nooks and crannies. But what if that diversion were more of a family heirloom than a pile of plastic pieces?
Aspinal of London presents Scrabble (shown, $1,400), the classic word game of vocabulary, with letter values and bonus squares, in a deluxe edition based on leather. The hand-bound playing board sits atop an Italian-calf tray with felt lining, which neatly holds the tiles. The letter trays are also leather bound and the letters themselves have bridle-hide backing to keep them from annoyingly sliding out of place.
Those with a bent for real estate acquisition can try to corner the market with the Monopoly Heirloom Edition (available at Pottery Barn, $349). The now-famous properties of Atlantic City are painted on a board crafted in walnut, maple and rosewood inlays. Cash stays neatly in a slide-out banker’s box beneath the board. The familiar property improvements—houses and hotels—are made of wood, and the Chance and Community Chest cards are foil stamped.
The British firm Linley, which specializes in game furniture (as well as standout humidors) makes a portable Backgammon game in a suitcase design, with hand-stitched leather and security locks ($3,225). But adult customers may be drawn to the company’s Vice Box ($9,935). The box, with its walnut and sycamore marquetry depictions of playing card suits, comes with a Trafalgar whiskey decanter and tumblers and playing cards, as well as a cigar cutter and 12-cigar holder. Just saying.