CH404 and Jaques non-Staunton bone sets generally
Dec 2, 2014Public
Photo: CH404  Highly decorated 'true Barleycorn' bone set

Kings  4.75  in /  121  mm high
Photo: CH404  Highly decorated 'true Barleycorn' bone set
Photo: CH404  Highly decorated 'true Barleycorn' bone set
Photo: CH404  Highly decorated 'true Barleycorn' bone set
Photo: CH404  Highly decorated 'true Barleycorn' bone set
Photo: CH404  Highly decorated 'true Barleycorn' bone set
Photo: Two books that will be referred to repeatedly in this album:

TURNED CHESSMEN - by Mike Darlow; referred to here as "Darlow" it was published in 2004 and is an excellent book as regards chess styles generally. All images of the Jaques Pattern Book pages shown in this album have been taken from here.

JAQUES AND BRITISH CHESS COMPANY CHESS SETS: by Prof.Sir Alan Fersht;  referred to here as "Fersht" it was published in 2010 and is the second of Alan's books on Jaques. As well as updating his previous 2007 work on Jaques Staunton sets, it includes a brief overview of BCC and its output, and incorporates a review of Jaques non-Staunton chessmen. It is, again, excellent on Jaques products; for BCC, a more detailed work was later published in 2010 by Mick Deasey & Guy Lyons on CD-ROM - copies of the CD are still available; see:
Photo: 4 knights as contained in 'Fersht' 

The two on the left are from a bone set identified as being a No.21 in the Pattern Book and regarded as generally indicative of a Jaques bone knight (the shape appears in known Jaques 'In Stau Quo' travel sets) - these will used extensively in this album.

Interestingly, the bone knights are quite distinct from the wooden knight; the Staunton knight, of course, was always 'intended' to be different, being orginally based on knight heads found on the Parthenon frieze.

As are virtually all bone knights, these are quite 'thin', being restricted by the thickness of the wall of the bone utilized; characteristic is the 'flamed' mane. Also, note that no teeth are visible on these heads.
Photo: Images taken from 'Darlow' of the Jaques designs

Darlow refers to A as being "one of the 62/65 pages which survived* from the Jaques Pattern Book of 1795 to 1870". He also refers to B-E as from the "1849 John Jaques & Son catalog".

Fersht mentions that the surviving* pages include a further page, not illustrated in Darlow, devoted to Staunton sets. Based on the latter, he states that they are in the 1852-55 style. It goes on to mention that, as can be seen, each set design has had its original details "stuck over with labels that correspond to those in the 1880's and 1890's".

The exact nature and purpose of these pages, their date of origin and whether all pages are contemporaneous, is therefore uncertain from the details available. I use the term 'Pattern Book' here with no specific intended meaning.

This album will concentrate on the bone sets (numbered 16-24) as shown at C, above.

Whilst evident, it is worth noting that rarely are all pieces shown in any single set design.
Photo: Bone Chessmen - No 17

Jaques 'Pattern Book'
Photo: Bone Chessmen - No 18

Jaques 'Pattern Book'
Photo: Bone Chessmen - No 19

Jaques 'Pattern Book'
Photo: Bone Chessmen - No 20

Jaques 'Pattern Book'
Photo: Bone Chessmen - No 21

Jaques 'Pattern Book'
Photo: Bone Chessmen - No's 22-24

Jaques 'Pattern Book'

Unfortunately, we no longer have the upper section of the King in No.22 - so cannot determine whether it is of the simpler style shown in lower-numbered sets, or like the more complex style shown in sets 23/24. Similarly, it is not possible to determine whether the Q is a pure ball, or has a protruding tip as in 23/24.

Most likely, however, No 22 is of the same simpler pattern overall as exemplified by No 21.
Photo: A set that Chesspy sold some time ago - the above images are taken from the 'advert' etc that was prepared and compare the set to No.23 in the Pattern Book. The set appears to be a 'mix' of design, incorporating the more basic shapes (especially the King's crown) found on their Barleycorn sets together with the more ornate designs from the central barrel body on #'s 23/24. 

As mentioned by Chesspy, the central determinative factor indicating a Jaques provenance is the shape of the knights heads, that seems to be common to all such Jaques pre-Staunton bone sets.

Whilst it is not impossible that Jaques bought in the knight's heads (rather than carved them in-house for their own exclusive use), they seem not to be found on sets that - otherwise - do not 'comply' with set designs illustrated in the Pattern Book. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that the specific knights heads can be taken to attribute provenance to Jaques.
Photo: Comparison of Pattern Book No.24 pieces with those in CH404

Whilst there are clear differences in detail, as is the case with virtually all these 'Jaques-candidate' sets, there are sufficient similarities that I feel happy in concluding that CH404 is, in all probability, a variation of No.24 in the Jaques Pattern Book.
Photo: Comparison of CH404 with an image in Fersht of a set auctioned at Christies. 

Whilst there are again differences, the two are so 'nearly identical' to each other and to the No.24 pattern book images that Jaques provenance is all but assured.
Photo: CH381 Family view of pieces

More images of the set can be seen here:

At first, I thought that this might be a Jaques set. A more careful examination, on receipt, however, of the following, in particular: (a) the knights heads/manes - see next image, (b) the elongated shape of the top part of the King's crown (not seen in any of the Pattern Book images) (c) the non-spherical shape of the balls to Q & P and (d) the slightly squat shape of the rook, makes me think that it is not by Jaques. 

Neither does it appear to be of the design that I tentatively associate as 'probably' by FH Ayres.

It is none-the-less a very pleasant set.
Photo: Comparison knights in CH381 with the 'Jaques standard' bone knights.

Whilst there are superficial similarities, especially a form of 'flame' mane, there are too many differences for them to be regarded as conforming to the Jaques 'norm'.
Photo: A plain barleycorn set (CH409) compared to pieces with typical Jaques attributes.

Knights have what may be loosely described as  'flame-like' manes associated with Jaques, but less well-defined, and the faces are of a different shape.

Rooks have only 4 crenelations, as opposed to the 6 found on Jaques sets.
Photo: Comparison of two richly-decorated Barleycorn Queens.

Right - from my Jaques No 24 set, CH404

Left - from CH61 , a 5.25in Barleycorn set that may well be by F.H.Ayres - see:

Photo: 87mm Bone Set (not owned, seen on eBay)

 Similar to Pattern Book sets #'s 21-22, but with rooks more like those found in the slim-bodied sets (see PB #18). The knights look to be of the 'expected standard' Jaques shape.
Photo: 5.5" set owned by fellow collector/Picasan, James

For more photos of this set, see:

This set exhibits all the features one might expect in a Jaques set. It has no 'true Barleycorn' patterns, and is more simply decorated, especially on the Royals.