Lot 862. Jaques Tournament Size Paulsen Ivory Chessmen, c. 1852


Jaques Tournament Size Ivory Chessmen, circa 1852. The King 8.9 cm. Most pieces bear their original green registration stickers. The ivory chessmen are natural and red-stained African Ivory. This is known as the Jaques Paulsen Style.

Out of stock. Many of these items on this site are one-of-a-kind Antiques. Once they are gone, that’s it!


Jaques Tournament Size Ivory Chessmen, circa 1852

Jaques Tournament Size Ivory Chessmen Circa 1952

Offered here is a very fine set of Jaques Tournament Size Ivory Chessmen, circa 1852. The King stands 8.9 cm tall with a 1.7″ diameter base. The ivory chessmen are natural and red-stained African Ivory. The pieces are in immaculate condition with original cochineal red stain color still strong. The White King’s base is inscribed “Jaques London” under the base. The Kingside Rooks and Knights bear the red King’s crown stamp. The Knights are very finely carved with a very attractive serpentine silhouette. This has been identified as the Paulsen style in the Camaratta Codex. Most of the pieces still bear their original green registration stickers, which would indicate that this set was produced sometime in 1852, since these small green stickers were only used during the first three years after the design was registered. The set is shown housed in our reproduction Carton Pierre casket, with a facsimile numbered label. The chessmen play and display best on a chessboard with 2-1/4″ squares. The chessmen are shown here displayed on our new reproduction Carton-Pierre chessboard. Neither the casket nor the chessboard is included. Both our reproduction Carton-Pierre Casket and reproduction Carton-Pierre Chessboard are currently available on this site, although supplies are limited.


Louis Paulsen was born at Blumberg, in Germany, on June 15th, 1833, and at an early age was taught to play chess by his father, Dr. Carl Paulsen. In 1854 he emigrated to America, and with his brother Ernest, established a business at Dubuque, in Iowa.

The Paulsen family owned a potato farm in native Nassengrund, Germany.  Because of the potato blight that devasted the European crops in the 1840s and 50s, Louis, along with his brother Ernst and sister Amalie, emigrated to the U.S., settling in Dubuque, Iowa, where they operated a distillery, raised tobacco and made cigars from 1854 to 1861. The scientific cultivation of potatoes was his famiy business.

Louis Paulsen was a contemporary of Paul Morphy. In 1857 he took part in the First American Congress, finishing second behind the American Prodigy Paul Morphy.  Morphy and Paulsen were early masters of blindfold chess, having played as many as 10 simultaneous blindfold games.

Paulsen introduced a large number of opening ideas. These include the Scotch Game, the Goering Gambit, the Paulsen Attack, the Paulsen variation of the Vienna Game, and the Four Knights Opening. As Black, he introduced the Boleslavsky variation, the Paulsen Defense of the Kieseritzky Gambit, and the Paulsen Variation of the Sicilian Defense. He introduced the Pirc Defense and improved Black’s play in the Muzio Gambit and in several lines of the Sicilian Defense.

Louis Paulsen was a World class player, placing 2nd in the 1857 American Congress behind Morphy, second in the 1862 London International behind Adolf Anderssen, 1st in the 1869 Amburgo tournament, ahead of Anderssen and Zukertort, 5th in 1870 Baden-Baden, 1st in 1871 Krefeld ahead of Anderssen, 5th in 1873 Vienna, 1st in 1877 Leipzig ahead of Anderssen and Zukertort, 1st in 1878 Frankfurt ahead of Anderssen, 2nd in 1879 Leipzig, 1st in 1880 Braunchsweig.

By 1880 his tournament results deteriorated. Louis Paulsen died in Germany on July 19th, 1891


Additional information

Weight8 lbs
Dimensions14 × 12 × 12 in

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