Large Jaques Status Quo Portable Chess Set, Type III
This is an example of a large Jaques Status Quo Portable Chess set, more correctly, the Status Quo Travel Chess Set. This is the rare large version of the Jaques Status Quo portable chess set, measures 12-5/8″ long by 12-5/8″ wide. The red stained and natural bone chessmen have a King measuring 3/4″ tall by 1″ in diameter. The name “Jaques London” is imprinted along one edge of the frame.
The Jaques patent application is dated 1st July 1853 and was submitted on 2nd July. The patent was granted on 16th August 1853.
The Jaques Statu Quo Portable 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 chessmen, which have slotted brass pegs, 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 Rosewood and Holly chessboard is housed within a mahogany frame.
The chess set lacks the brass slider which locks the board into an open position when playing, indicating that it is a pre-1857 set. The chess set lacks its original leather case, but otherwise is in excellent condition.
Jaques produced In Statu Quo portable chess sets in four basic sizes of two configurations each. 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 size was 9-1/8″ x 9-1/8″, Type I, with bone or ivory chessmen having a King height of 5/8″ by 7/8″ in diameter. These came in two leather case configurations. One was a rather typical parallelepiped, the second had a rounded spine with a small lid atop the spine to insert the captured chessmen. It had a lockable flap covering the small end of the case.
- The next size and probably the most practical, the Type II, was 11-1/2″ x 9-1/8″ and used the same bone or ivory pieces as the smaller size. The major difference
between this and the smaller sets was the extra field at each end to secure the captured chessmen. Because of the extra space on the board for captured pieces, this set did not utilize the rounded spine Leather case.
- There were two larger sizes. The Type III set, like the item offered here, measured 12-5/8″ x 12-5/8″ with bone or ivory chessmen having a King height of 3/4″ by 1″ in diameter. These came in one leather case configuration with a lockable flap covering the small end of the case and pull-ribbon to aid removal of the chess set.
- The largest of the In Statu Quo Travel Chess sets was the Type IV. It measured 16-5/8″ x 12-5/8″ with space for the captured chessmen at each end of the chessboard. It utilized 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 World Champion Alexander Alekhine.