Jaques Tuff-A-Nuff Chessmen.
A very rare set of Jaques Tuff-A-Nuff Chessmen. These Staunton chessmen were made of a soft rubber material – claimed to be unbreakable. The pieces are equivalent in size to the Jaques Small Club Size chessmen. The lack of a true Formeé Cross finial belies their true size. The Kingside Rook and Knight from each army bear the red symbol of a King’s crown on their summits. Both both kings have “Jaques London…Tuff-a-Nuff…Rubber Chess” molded into the underside of their bases. The Jaques Tuff-A-Nuff chessmen were first introduced around 1927 and could be found in advertisements and price lists for chess sets from around that period. As with all these Tuff-A-Nuff chess pieces, the the rubber has become a bit squashed and there is distortion present on all the pieces. In addition, the Black chess pieces have hardened with age. The light chessmen are still somewhat supple. The chessmen have the strong odor of a rubber eraser when the box is opened. The design of the Knights closely resembles the Jaques Lessing style as shown in the Camaratta Codex of Jaques Chessmen.
One of these sets sold at auction very recently (November, 2019) for a hammer price of €1900 plus commission! Because of the distortion present on almost all the pieces, this set, and those like it, are not intended for play, but examples are purchased as very rare collectibles. However, should you desire to actually use the chessmen, an antique Jaques folding Chess/Backgammon board designed to complement these chessmen can be found here. For a complete selection of our finest new and antique chessboards, please click here. For a short history of the John Jaques Company and the Staunton Chessmen, click here.