Saint George Tournament Chess Set.
Offered here is a Reproduction Saint George Tournament Chess Set by The House of Staunton The chess pieces are crafted from Gabon Ebony and Boxwood and are heavily weighted and rest atop green English baize. The Kings stands 4-3/8″ tall with a base diameter of 1-5/8″ and sport a green leather House of Staunton embossed base pad. The pieces are as new and are housed in the large House of Staunton premium compartmented Mahogany coffer with removable trays. This style of chessmen was designed for the Saint George Chess Club around 1940 and was very popular during the early Victorian period but was eventually replaced the revolutionary Staunton chessmen which were first offered to thge public in September of 1849. Although no chessboard is offered with this listing, a suitable chessboard is available elsewhere on this site.
The Saint George (or St. George) pattern chessmen are a variation of the ubiquitous English Playing sets designed with minor modifications, among which was the replacing of the cross finial with a simpler ball or plume, for the Saint George Chess Club. The St. George Chess Sets were designed for the Saint George Chess Club and first appeared around 1840. This is a very practical chess set design and was in common use through the early 20th Century. Chessmen of this type were produced by John Calvert, William and Thomas Lund, F. A. Ayres, British Company, George Merrifield, and John Jaques, among others (see Jaques 1860 Pattern Book Image).
About the Saint George Chess Club.
The Saint George Chess Club was formed soon after the dissolution of the Westminster Club (of which Staunton had been the Secretary) on 22nd December 1839 and reported on that date by George Walker in the newspaper Bell Life in London and Sporting News. The formation of the St George’s Chess Club was reported by Walker in the same newspaper on 29th December 1839. It would appear that the membership of the Westminster Club was encouraged to leave the Club and to join the newly formed Saint George’s Club that Walker had apparently already organized. So, the Saint George Chess Club was in existence since December 1840 and not 1842 as has been previously reported.