Jaques Status Quo Portable Chess Set, Type II
A Type II Jaques Status Quo Portable Chess Set, more correctly, the “In Statu Quo” or simply the ISQ. This Type II Jaques Status Quo Chess set measures 11-1/2″ x 9-1/8″ with Cochineal-stained and natural bone chessmen having a King height of 5/8″ by 7/8″ in diameter. The set lacks its original black leather slip-case. The playing area has space for the captured chessmen, a feature lacking in the smaller Type 1A and Type 1B In Statu Quo chess sets. The chessmen have a metal peg inserted into each of their bases to enable the locking system to operate. The Type II Jaques Status Quo Portable Chess 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 pieces 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 Mahogany case have a brass slider which locks the board into an open position when playing. The name “Jaques London” is imprinted along one edge of the frame. The Rosewood and Holly chessboard is housed within the Mahogany frame. This Jaques Status Quo Portable Chess set lacks its original its original black leather case, The chess set is 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.
- The most common of the In Statu Quo chess sets, measured 9-1/8″ x 9-1/8″ with bone or ivory chessmen. They had a King height of 5/8″ by 7/8″ in diameter. These came in two black leather case configurations. One was a rather typical parallelepiped, (Type 1A). The second, which is the configuration of this set, had a rounded spine with a small flap atop the spine to insert the captured chessmen (Type 1B).
- The next size, and probably the most practical, the Type II, measured 11-1/2″ x 9-1/8″ and used the same bone or ivory pieces as the smaller In Statu Quo sets. The major difference between this and the smaller sets was the extra field at each end to store and secure the captured chessmen. This is the configuration of the Ivory Type II Status Quo Chess set offered here.
- There were two larger size In Statu Quo portable chess sets. One, the Type III, measured 12-5/8″ x 12-5/8″ with bone or ivory chessmen having a King height of 3/4″ by 1″ in diameter. There was only one black leather carrying case configuration.
- The largest of the In Statu Quo Travel Chess sets, the Type IV, measures 16-5/8″ by
12-5/8″ with 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 shown.
Cochineal Dye. To create the red dye, Carminic acid is extracted from the female cochineal insects and is treated to produce carmine, which can yield shades of red such as crimson and scarlet. The body of the insect is 19–22% carminic acid. The insects are processed by immersion in hot water or exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. Each method produces a different color that results in the varied appearance of commercial cochineal. It takes about 80,000 to 100,000 insects to make one kilogram of cochineal dye.
For more information of the Jaques Company and The Staunton Chessmen, please visit this page.