Jaques English Type I Playing Set

Lot #344. Jaques English Type I Playing Chess Set

Jaques English Type I Playing Chess Set.

This offering is a fine example of a Jaques English Type I Playing Chess set, often incorrectly characterized as a Barleycorn-style chess set. True Barleycorn style chessmen have broad barrel-bodied Kings and Queens, and are normally fabricated from bone, rarely ivory. The chessmen here are natural and red-stained ivory. The King stands 3.5″ tall with a 1.3″ diameter base. The chessmen fall in to the ubiquitous English Playing Set category, referred as Type I Playing Sets. The Kings and Queens feature  well-turned narrow tapered barrel bodies typical of the Type I design, mounted atop baluster-shaped pedestals. The King’s coronet is surmounted by a Maltese cross finial, very typical for the Type I chessmen. The Queen sports a feather finial, which is also a characteristic of this design. The Rooks are represented as full reticulated towers surmounted with a tapered flagless staff. The Bishops, Knights and Pawns resemble styles seen on typical Barleycorn chess sets. The chessmen were produced by the firm of John Jaques of London in the early 1840s.

The term English Type I Playing set is used to describe a range of English Playing chess sets, primarily fabricated from ivory, and made mostly, but not uniquely, in England during the 19th centuryThis poplar chess set design is characterized by narrow tapered, ringed bodied, Kings and Queens. The Kings will normally have reeded crowns surmounted by Maltese Cross finials. The Queens will normally sport either a Feather or Fleur de lis  finial mounted atop a reeded spherical headpiece. Rooks are normally stout, full-bodied towers, often sporting tapered staffs or flags. English Type I Playing Chess Sets first appeared at the beginning of the 19th century and were in common use through the early 20th Century. Aside from Jaques, chessmen of this type were produced by John Calvert, William and Thomas Lund, George Merrifield, Fischer, Hezekiah Dixon and Charles Hastilow, among others.

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