Jaques
Oct 21, 2009Public
Photo: CH16: Mixed Jaques etc - my first venture (cheaply) into Jaques to see if they were “worth it”. Presumably they were, or I wouldn't have bought any more! Fine to play with, even so - I certainly have no regrets over buying this composite set.

K=3.53in / 89.73mm

Kings, Knights and some other pieces are by Jaques.
Photo: CH323  Another composite set of mainly Jaques/British Chess Company pieces.

White King 3.5in - all pieces box/ebony, weighted

Once again, I knew exactly what I was buying with this set and have no regrets about having done so.
Photo: CH323 White pieces - showing the BCC King (lacking it's cross)
Photo: CH323 Black pieces
Photo: CH323 4 Knights
Photo: CH323 British Chess Company rook 

With their alternative k-side signifying stamp - the 'starburst'/'asterisk'
Photo: BH323 - showing heavy weighting to a - BCC - pawn.

It's no wonder that many sets show cracking to the lower parts of weighted pieces!
Photo: CH323 felts to two black knights
Photo: CH323 Oak box the set arrived in, with two brass catches.

The white spots on the felt inside the lid appear to be the very last remains of a label.

Whilst this sort of box is unlike those that Jaques sets are normally found in, and there is no reference to them in their catalogues or adverts, according to research available on Alan Fersht's Picasa site* Jaques did use this type of box in the 1920's. The felt used in the box is the same as the - slightly dirtier - felt used on the Jaques pieces in the 'set'.

Athough no longer present here, there is sign of a central divider to the box as is apparent on other examples of this type. 

* see: https://picasaweb.google.com/Fersht/JaquesOakAndMahoganyBoxesWithCatches#5502717785436108994
Photo: CH387 A 'Mixed-bag' Staunton 'set' - K= 3.9in / 98.9mm - weighted

A true made-up 'set', with Jaques, BCC & other (!) pieces, from, possibly 5 different sets, but I couldn't resist it, damage and all - it handles well and has a lovely deep patina. 

The previous owner used it regularly for play and I intend to keep up the tradition (it had its first outing with me this week, and performed nicely).
Photo: CH387 -  Knights from the 'set'

2 Whites Knights are by Jaques- 'Morphy'style c 1850 2.88in / 73mm; 

One Black Knight probably by Jaques - indeterminate (not shown) 

The 2nd black knight by the British Chess Company, 2.7in / 68.5mm;  Xylonite head, fixed by screw through the weight as is typical of BCC knights. This is an impressive beast -  and the 'best/nicest' Xylonite head I've seen.

All four knights bear a crown stamp!  the BCC on the base as is typical; the two Morphy knights stamps are very small.
Photo: CH387 - 3 rooks are from the same maker, with what I take to be K-side 'crown-stamp' equivalents of ebony & ivory ( 1 black not shown here) which makes for quite an elegant way of effecting the differentiation; 1 white rook from an old Jaques set, possibly the Morphy era, as it looks/feels contemporary to the knights - but with this 'set' who knows!

Thanks to a dealer/collector, I now have a fourth rook with the 'spot' markings, identical in size, design and patina to the others - although clearly 'wrong', I will now use this set with all four rooks of this type for 'consistency' of view.
Photo: The same dealer/collector who sent me the 4th spotted rook mentioned previously also sent me this photo of a set (not owned) containing identical 'spotted' K-side rooks (and knights) that appeared at a local auction in 2015. 

Overall, as one might have expected, it looks to be a well-made set, although there was no information as to it's age/maker.  The pieces here do not  have the deep toffee patina that mine have, and, I gather are slightly smaller in size.
Photo:
Photo: CH368 A Library size set (no box included)

K height = 2.85in /  72.5mm 
K base diameter = 1.4in ( 1 & 3/8th)  / 35.4mm - size 000

Q's with 10 points to the coronet

Neither King is stamped to indicate Jaques as manufacturer, but the pieces are clearly by that firm and 
bear its crown-stamps as shown in a later image shown in this sequence.
Photo: Extract from 'Jaques and British Chess Company chess Sets' by Professor Sir Alan Fersht, concerning this sort of set.

(Reproduced here with his kind permission)
Photo: CH368  Bishop

All four bishops are identical (other than two being black!) The 'gashes' to the mitres are unvarnished.

Height  2.06in / 52.4mm

I'm fond of this angular shape of mitre, which looks more like the 'real thing' to me than the more curved versions.
Photo: CH368 Crown stamps

The black knight bearing the crown stamp is the 'odd-man-out' knight as shown later in this sequence.
Photo: CH368 Three knights of identical pattern - c.1852-1855. The black knight appears to be of ebony.
Photo: CH368 - the final knight, that bears the crown-stamp. It is of the earlier c.1850 pattern, and has its head carved from boxwood, the stain of which has faded to a lovely deep-brown colour as is often found on these.

A solid, chunky knight - with an endearing 'list' to one side!

Whether this knight is truly 'original' to the set is impossible to say, although it is quite likely. Even if not, it makes little difference to me - as I knew what I was acquiring and it is a fine piece in its own right.  Criticize Frankeinstein if you will - but not his creation, which, in this case, is surely no monster.
Photo:
Photo: CH248; Jaques 3.5in, weighted, clothed, box/ebony Staunton set (the box is not from this set) c1860.  

A lovely set to use; the early sets had a vibrancy to them that seems - a little - lacking in later versions. The pieces themselves seem more substantial somehow.
Photo: CH248 - the knights. 

Note the manes, which are more "integral" to the rest of the piece, and far less likely to break than those on (many, at least) other styles of Jaques knights. This trait is also evident in the similarly-dated Library set I have. I don't know whether it is also evident in other relatively early sets (different style knights) and would be interested to hear from other collectors.  It is fairly rare to see the rear of knights shown in photo's, so it is difficult to make out the nature of manes in general.

The other point of note is the chest motif - only a single indent here.
Photo: CH248: a bishop from this set (left) compared to one from an early C20th 3.5in set (CH133). The shape of the mitre, its cleft and the degree to which the knop is affected by the cleft are well-researched, but it would seem from this that there may well be significant differences in the height of bishops between periods, too.