Large Jaques In Statu Quo Travel Chess Set, Type IV
This is a rare example of a large Jaques In Statu Quo Travel Chess set, often referred to by the moniker “Status Quo”. This is the very rare large version of the In Statu Quo portable chess set, measuring 16-5/8″ long by 12-5/8″ wide. The red stained and natural bone chessmen have a King measuring 3/4″ tall by 1″ in diameter. It has an additional section at each side of the board to store and secure captured pieces. The name “Jaques London” is imprinted along one edge of the frame. The extra area for the captured pieces was started in 1857, which means that the manufacture date of the set can be reasonably dated between 1857 and 1860.
The In Statu Quo travel chess set features a hinged folding board with an ingenious patented locking system. By depressing two bone buttons located at each half of the chess board, the chessmen, which have slotted brass pegs, are locked in place so the game can be halted midway and stored for a later date with the position kept in tact. An additional inside button unlocks the pieces.
The exterior sides of the folding case have a brass slider which locks the board into an open position when playing. The Rosewood and Holly chessboard is housed within a mahogany frame. The chess set is housed in its original leather case. The set, mechanism and large leather outer carrying case are in excellent condition.
The Jaques patent application is dated 1st July 1853 and was submitted on 2nd July. The patent was granted on 16th August 1853. Jaques produced In Statu Quo portable chess sets in four basic sizes. These were available in either Red-stained and natural Bone or African ivory. Each chess set came housed in a Black leather carrying case with a lockable flap covering the small end of the case. The lockable outside of the flap had a gold embossed Jaques manufacturer’s emblem. To facilitate remembering which side had the move when the game was paused, there was a slider on the underside of the flap which would show either a red or a white swatch. Each case originally had a pull-ribbon to aid removal of the chess set. Few of these ribbons survived.
Jaques produced In Statu Quo portable chess sets in four basic sizes of two configurations each. These were available in either Red-stained and natural Bone or African ivory.
- The most common size was 9-1/8″ x 9-1/8″ with bone or ivory chessmen having a King height of 5/8″ by 7/8″ in diameter. These came in two
leather case configurations. One was a rather typical parallelepiped, the second had a rounded spine with a small lid atop the spine to insert the captured chessmen. It had a lockable flap covering the small end of the case.
- Next, size and probably the most practical, was 11-1/2″ x 9-1/8″ and used the same bone or ivory pieces as the smaller size. The major difference between this and the smaller sets was the extra field at each end to secure the captured chessmen. Because of the extra space on the board for captured pieces, this set did not utilize the rounded spine Leather case.
- There were two larger sizes. One measured 12-5/8″ x 12-5/8″ with bone or ivory chessmen having a King height of 3/4″ by 1″ in diameter. These came in one leather case configuration with a lockable flap covering the small end of the case and pull-ribbon to aid removal of the chess set.
- The largest of the In Statu Quo Travel Chess sets. like this one, measured 16-5/8″ x 12-5/8″ with space for the captured chessmen at each end of the chessboard. It utilized the same bone or ivory chessmen as the set above. These came in a rather distinctive leather case configuration It was a typical parallelepiped, but with its lockable flap covering the long face of the case. This is the set pictured in the “Death Photo” of Alexander Alekhine.