Antique Jaques Club Size Chessmen in Carton Pierre Box, Weighted!
Offered here is one of only two known examples of a set of factory-weighted Ivory Jaques Club Size Staunton Chessmen. The chessmen are natural and red-stained and are in excellent condition. The King stands 4-3/8″ tall with a 2-0″ diameter base. This King height is referred to as the Club Size or full Club Size. The magnificently carved Knights are the aggressive Anderssen style. The pieces are housed in their original large Carton Pierre Box which has been expertly restored. The original rad manufacturer’s label is missing, but a facsimile red label is provided as part of the restoration. Each of the chess pieces rest atop green English baize base pads. The large Club size sets are normally found in a compartmented Spanish Mahogany casket. The larger Carton Pierre boxes are very uncommon and were never designed to carry the heavier weighted pieces. The Carton Pierre caskets were quite fragile, and the heavier weighted pieces had a tendency to break through the sides of the casket if not handled carefully – which was the case here, hence the need for expert restoration. This set of Jaques Club Size Staunton Chessmen dates to around 1854.
Because of the imbedded weights and baize base pard, the White King is stamped “Jaques London” on the rim of the base rather than on the underside, as was standard praxis for all Jaques ivory Staunton Chess sets. The Kingside Rooks and Knights are stamped with a King’s crown on their summits, as was frequently advocated by Howard Staunton. These Jaques Club Size Staunton chessmen play and display best on a chessboard with 2-1/2″ squares. A chessboard is not included, but a suitable new or antique chessboard can be found here. Also, an original Carton Pierre chessboard, which often accompanied the Jaques chess pieces in Carton Pierre boxes, is available.
The Staunton Pattern was first offered to the public for sale in the Fall of 1849 by the company of John Jaques of London. The original design was registered to Nathaniel Cooke in the Spring of that year. The chessmen design was named after the self-proclaimed world champion, Howard Staunton, an English Shakespearean scholar. Whether or not the design was actually the brainchild of Cooke is open to much speculation. It is relatively certain that the pattern was not designed by the egotistical Staunton, as he never laid claim to such.
What is known is that, on 1st March 1849, Nathaniel Cooke, 198, Strand, London, registered an Ornamental Design for a set of Chess-Men, under the Ornamental Designs Act of 1842. At that date, there was no provision for the registration of any design or articles of ivory, registration was limited to Class 2, articles made chiefly of wood.
The right to manufacture such sets was acquired by John Jaques and he began to supply the retail trade on 29 September, 1849. On the same day, the following advertisement appeared Illustrated London News: AA set of Chessmen, of a pattern combining elegance and solidity to a degree hitherto unknown, has recently appeared under the auspices of the celebrated player Mr. STAUNTON. A guiding principle has been to give by their form a signification to the various pieces – thus the king is represented by a crown, the Queen by a coronet, &c. The pieces generally are fashioned with convenience to the hand; and it is to be remarked, that while there is so great an accession to elegance of form, it is not attained at the expense of practical utility. Mr. STAUNTON’S pattern adopts but elevates the conventional form; and the base of the Pieces being of a large diameter, they are more steady than ordinary sets.@ Illustrated London News, September 8, 1849.