British Birds chess pieces (Blade Runner limited edition)



(Please note however that our original British Birds set is almost identical - only the pawns differ! The set featured in the Blade Runner film features only wrens as pawns, while the original set features light wrens and dark kingfishers.)

If you'd like to 'create' your own Blade Runner prop accurate set, all you need to do is buy one of these original sets, plus 8 extra dark wrens! Just enter BLADERUNNER50 at the basket for 50% off the spares when you buy 8.


This set is based on illustrations in the Book of American Birds, of birds native to the British Isles, as well as the US. The first edition of this 19th century priceless tome can be found in the British Natural History Museum. (Whether a peacock is native to Britain or an import from Asia is a moot point, as is whether you should use a male bird as a Queen in a chess set!)

This prop accurate set achieved worldwide fame when it appeared in the 1982 film Blade Runner. (Watch the scene here - head to 9:55!) It features in the film’s classic chess game scene, being played by J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson) and Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel) as Pris (Daryl Hannah) and Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) look on.

You can see more photos here, plus more details and a longer history of the set here.

Key figures:

  • The king is represented by the golden eagle, a native of the Scottish Highlands, chained and sitting on a crown (~4.75”/12cm)
  • The queen is a peacock(!) (~5.5”/13.5cm)
  • The bishop is a horned owl, perched on a be-ribboned bishop’s mitre (~4”/10cm)
  • The knight is a peregrine falcon, hooded and perched on a gauntlet (~5”/12.5cm)
  • The rook is a raven, perched on a castellated tower (~3.5”/9cm)
  • The pawn is a wren, perched on a tree branch (~3”/7cm)

Made from cold-cast powdered marble and resin in Somerset.

Pictured with the 21" Walton board (sold separately), though also looks great on any of our 18 or 20" boards too.