Jaques Northern Upright Chessmen

Lot #726. Northern Upright Tournament Size Chessmen By Jaques of London

Jaques Northern Upright Chessmen.

Reproduction Northern Upright Chessmen

Offered here is a superb set of Jaques Northern Upright Chessmen, crafted from fine Boxwood and Ebony. The unique Knight head carving is consistent with Knight heads found in Pre-Staunton chessmen produced by Jaques of London. An image of a page from the 1860 Jaques Pattern book shows the Northern Upright chessmen as part of their offerings.  This style of chessmen was common in the early and mid-Victorian Period and dates to the 1840s. The King stands 4-0″ tall with a 1-1/2″ diameter base. The pieces are unfelted and unweighted, which was typical for playing sets of this period.

An image in the Gallery shows a comparison of the Northern Upright King with a tournament-size Jaques Staunton King from a set produced in 1856. The chessmen are in incredibly pristine condition with rich red color. The Pieces are housed in a period wooden hinge-top box, possibly original to the chess pieces.

These Jaques Northern Upright chessmen, often referred to as the Edinburgh (sometimes Edinboro) pattern,  fall into the ubiquitous category often referred to as English Playing sets, which also included the Saint George, Dublin, Lund and Calvert patterns. An image of the legendary World Champion Paul Morphy with a set of Northern Upright chessmen identical in style to the one offered here is attached. These English Playing sets were ultimately supplanted by the Staunton chessmen which were introduced to the public in September of 1849. This set of chess pieces plays and displays best on a chessboard with 1-3/4″ to 1-7/8″ squares. The antique chessboard shown in the images is not included in this offering, but a suitable new or antique chessboard can be purchased separately elsewhere on this website.

A Bit of History.

The Northern Upright Tournament chessmen, often referred to as the Edinburgh (sometimes Edinboro) pattern,  fall into the ubiquitous category often referred to as English Playing sets, which also included the Saint George, Lund and Calvert patterns. The English Playing sets were ultimately supplanted by the Staunton chessmen which were introduced to the public in September of 1849. The  Northern Upright chessmen were designed by Lord John Hay around 1840. Similar sets of chessmen were made by Dixon, Thomas and William Lund, and John Calvert as well as George Merrifield and John Jaques, among others. The iconic image on the left shows American Champion Paul Morphy holding a Northern Upright King similar to the one offered here.

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