Reproduction Anderssen Style Staunton Chessmen, 1856 Reproduction.
Offered here is a set of Reproduction Anderssen Style Staunton Chessmen, It is an exact rendition of the Anderssen Style Staunton Chessmen as they appeared in 1856. This is a weighted tournament-size set featuring a 3-1/2″ King with a 1-3/4″ diameter base. Each of the chess pieces rests atop green English baize base pads. These Reproduction Anderssen Style chessmen are accurate – right down to the impression of a red king’s crown on the summits of one Knight and Rook from each army to designate the Kingside piece. The image provided shows the reproduction and the original Jaques Anderssen chessmen. See if you can identify the original! The set being offered is crafted from antiqued Boxwood and pure Gabon Ebony. The Chessmen are new. Each set consists of 34 Chessmen, including four Queens to facilitate Pawn Promotion, now a standard that was introduced by Mr. Camaratta over 25 years ago. Note the masterful workmanship of the Knights, which are derived from the noble steeds whose visages are captured in the Parthenon frieze (expropriated between 1801 and 1812 by Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord of Elgin and since referred to as the Elgin Marbles). This distinctive, finely detailed Knight head is the hallmark of a true Staunton design.
The reproduction Anderssen Style Staunton Chessmen are turned and hand-carved by our master artisans and crafted out of the highest grade woods. The design of the 1856 Anderssen Chessmen exemplify a perfect combination of distinct beauty and functionality. They have been designed to withstand the rigors of practical play while maintaining an elegance which has become the hallmark of all Frank Camaratta creations. The chessmen are accompanied by a correct Facsimile orange-yellow Manufacturer’s label. A premium Mahogany storage box and suitable chessboard are available.
The Reproduction Anderssen Style Staunton chessmen play and display best on a chessboard with 2-1/8″ or 2-1/4″ squares.
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: A 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.
Shortly thereafter, the Morning Herald wrote: “A new set of Chessmen has recently appeared under the auspices of Mr. STAUNTON, who, observing their manifest superiority over the old figures in ordinary use, not only as works of art, but in the more practical necessities of convenience, has vouchsafed the guarantee of his name and recommendation. Those who have been in the habit of playing the game will remember the awkward, and inelegant structure of the generality of the shapes which have been in vogue. No artificial feeling until now has ever been brought to bear upon the formation of a pattern which should satisfy the eye both on the score of elegance and propriety.”
And the Morning Chronicle wrote: Mr, STAUNTON, the well-known Chess-player, has associated his name with a new and improved set of Chessmen, of which we have seen a specimen. The chief respect in which these Chess-men differ from the various kinds now in use in this country is that the form of each piece more effectually represents what is intended to be conveyed: as for instance, The King is surmounted by a crown, the Queen with a Queenly coronet, and so in like manner with the other pieces.
The rest is history. The Staunton pattern chessmen quickly became the World standard for serious and casual play. The relatively low production cost brought chess to the masses and did much to popularize the game. Its clean, simple design has never been equaled – the original design looks as modern today as it did upon its introduction over 166 years ago.