Jaques Ivory Anderssen Carton Pierre Casket, Entered No.3920.
Shown here is a Carton Pierre Casket which would have housed the Jaques Tournament size and Small Club size Anderssen Ivory chess pieces. These Carton Pierre caskets were designed for Leuchars by Joseph L Williams to accommodate the revolutionary Staunton Chessmen. The Library size Jaques Staunton chessmen used the same casket, but with a raised bottom panel. This same Carton Pierre casket configuration was also made to accommodate the full Club-Size sets by adding a 1″ deep false bottom. This unrestored Neo-Gothic Sarcophagus has its original Burgundy velour interior and bears a numbered label affixed to the underside, Entered No. 3920. This sale is only for the Carton Pierre casket. It does not include the chessmen or the Carton Pierre chessboard shown. An accurate reproduction of the original Jaques 1849 Cook chessmen in bone with a facsimile of the green registration lozenges shown can be purchased here. An original Carton Pierre chessboard can be viewed by clicking here.
The red labels bore Entered Numbers between 3000 and 3999 and were affixed to Carton Pierre caskets and fitted Spanish Mahogany coffers housing Ivory Staunton Chessmen starting around 1853 or so. Those with Entered Numbers above around 3200 would have been found affixed to caskets and fitted Spanish Mahogany coffers housing Staunton Chess pieces made between 1854 and 1858.
The following article introducing the new Staunton Chessmen and the Carton-Pierre casket appeared in the Illustrated London News in October of 1849.
“The most Elegant Christmas Present for New Year’s Gift is a set of THE STAUNTON CHESSMEN, in the unique box of Carton Pierre, resembling Richly Carved Ebony. In the finest African Ivory, 5 guineas; Wedgwood’s Carrara, £3; Ebony, etc., £1 15s; Club size, loaded, £2 5s, in mahogany box. Each box containing an admirable Treatise on chess by Mr. Staunton, May be obtained of all dealers of Chess-men. Wholesale, Jaques, Hatton-Garden. Any bookseller can procure them.”
Joseph Williams also designed the Leuchars chessboard’s exterior with Carton Pierre decorative work in the Neo-Gothic style. These fine boards were first made by Leuchars of London to compliment the Jaques chess sets. The Carton Pierre board mates with the Carton Pierre casket that housed the new Jaques Staunton chess pieces.
Leuchars was established at 47 Piccadilly, London in 1794 by James Leuchars. In 1820, the business moved to 38 Piccadilly, shortly before James Leuchars died in 1822. Lucy Leuchars, James’ widow, continued the business under the name of L. Leuchars. In 1837, the same year as Queen Victoria
The most Elegant Christmas Present for New Year’s Gift is a set of THE STAUNTON CHESSMEN, in the unique box of Carton Pierre, resembling Richly Carver Ebony. In the finest African Ivory, 5 guineas; Wedgwood’s Carrara, £3; Ebony, etc., £1 15s; Club size, loaded, £2 5s, in mahogany box. Each box containing an admirable Treatise on chess by Mr. Staunton, May be obtained of all dealers of Chess-men. Wholesale, Jaques, Hatton-Garden. Any bookseller can procure them.”