“Staunton”  (England)

(John) Jaques is probably the most successful maker. At least longest existing, from 1795 till the present day. Most famous, of course, is the "Staunton" pattern, which was patented on March 1, 1849, by Nathaniel Cook, 198 Strand, London. Cook was the brother in law of Jaques. But a lot of other chess set patterns was found in their famous pattern book: "Barleycorn", "Calvert type", "Dublin", "Edinboro Upright", "St.George", etc. Jaques did invent and make a whole lot of other type of games as well and is still in business today. Here 2 Jaques "Staunton" sets.

287 01
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  • England, by Jaques, "Staunton" ("late Anderssen")
  • ca. 1865
  • Boxwood + ebony K 7.4; p 3.7
  • Box 16.0×11.6×6.8
037 02
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  • England, by Jaques, "Staunton" ("Broadbent")
  • ca. 1935
  • Boxwood + ebony K 9.7; p 5.3
  • Box 21.8×16.8×10.8

There are a lot of other makers or retailers, like Asprey, F.H.Ayres, J.Barr, BCC, B&C, De La Rue, H.Dixon, C.Hastilov, W.Howard, Wedgwood, R.Whitty, to name a few. I do not have "Staunton" examples of all of these makers, but you can find other types of some of them elsewhere on my site. Here 2 "Staunton" examples.

The business and factory of Frederick Henry Ayres, manufacturer, was situated at 111 Aldegate, London, from 1864. I have several non-Staunton F.H.Ayres sets, which you can find at other England pages.

159 02
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  • England, "Staunton"
  • Late 19th century
  • Boxwood + ebony K 6.5; p 3.5
184 02
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  • England, by B&C London, "Staunton"
  • Late 19th century
  • Boxwood + ebony K 7.4; p 4.

"The Rose Chess" was produced and patented by The Rose Chess company of Mildred Rose in 1941. It is generally believed that it has been designed by W.B.Tattersall, London. The lead set is based on the Staunton design, although the pieces are flat, but with supports at the base for stability. According to the patent specifically designed to be small. Weight was apparently less important for this lead set. "The Rose Chess" is very common and can be found on eBay on a weekly base. Often dated to 1900-1920, which of course is wrong.

There are boxes in 3 sizes, labels in 3 variants, 2 different patent numbers, large and small sets and even a more Staunton looking variant, which is rather scarce. It is not sure the latter is of the same company, because pieces are not stamped. Just very recently a set with box appeared, but without label or other indication. The box is like the large box of The Rose Chess, but of inferior quality. You see large sets in large boxes, large and small sets in medium boxes and small sets in small boxes. The patent describes an associated board in which the pieces do fit and can be secured by turning. It is hard to believe because it would ask for a construction in the board, on each field, that makes it possible. I have never seen such associated board.

Large and medium boxes have a label stating: "THE ROSE CHESS" in bended way, "PROV. PAT.No 5280", "MADE IN ENGLAND" and "NO. 1 SET". Small boxes have a label stating: "THE ROSE" and "CHESS" in 2 straight lines and "PATENT NO 546516". Pieces are stamped with "ROSE", "MADE IN"+"ENGLAND" and "P/PAT.5280", although not always very well visible or consistent.

There is one exception, which is extremely scarce. I have seen it only once! It is a large set in the medium box with label stating, "THE" and "Rose Chess" in 2 straight lines, "( Prov. Patent 5280/41 )" and "MADE IN ENGLAND". The facts that there is "/41" at the patent and that there is no "NO. 1 SET" on the label suggest that we deal with a very early set from 1941. Also all pieces are stamped "MADE IN ENGLAND" only and omit the other stamps.

The "NO. 1 SET" could have been introduced when either the smaller set or the more Staunton alike set came out. I tend to believe the first assumption. More manufacturers numbered their sets according size. On the other hand it doesn't match with a small set in a medium box with "NO. 1 SET" on it. But they did small pieces stamped "P/PAT 5280" in a box labelled "PATENT NO 546516" as well. That isn't consistent 😉

It is also striking that the small pawns in a medium box have been stamped, unlike the pawns of sets in the small box.

Al last: The colour of the large set in the large box tends to be a bit more orange and less shining than the red/black of the others. Sometimes you see other colours, like cream with black. Boxes can have other colours as well, like green.

297 02
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This set from 1941 is the only one I have seen.

  • England, "The Rose Chess"
  • 1941
  • Lead K 6.4; p 3.0
  • Box 11.0×9.0×3.8
  • Large "Rose" model in medium sized box with:
    "Prov. Patent 5280/41"
  • All pieces stamped at bottom with just "MADE IN"+"ENGLAND" (in 1 or 2 lines)
103 06
« 1 of 5 »
  • England, "The Rose Chess"
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 6.4; p 3.0
  • Box 17.8×11.7×3.6
  • Large "Rose" model in large sized box with:
    "PROV. PAT.No 5280" and "NO. 1 SET"
  • All pieces stamped at bottom with (parts of) "ROSE", "MADE IN"+"ENGLAND" (in 1 or 2 lines) and "P/PAT.5280"
296 01
« 1 of 2 »

Note that the pieces are still originally bound to their cards!

  • England, "The Rose Chess"
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 6.4; p 3.0
  • Box 17.8×11.7×3.6
  • Large "Rose" model in large sized box with:
    "PROV. PAT.No 5280" and "NO. 1 SET"
  • All pieces stamped at bottom with (parts of) "ROSE", "MADE IN"+"ENGLAND" (in 1 or 2 lines) and "P/PAT.5280"
071 02
« 1 of 3 »
  • England, "The Rose Chess"
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 5.1; p 2.8
  • Box 11.0×9.0×3.8
  • Small "Rose" model in medium sized box with:
    "PROV. PAT.No 5280" and "NO. 1 SET"
  • All pieces stamped at bottom with (parts of) "ROSE", "MADE IN ENGLAND" (in 1 line only) and "P/PAT.5280"
308 04
« 1 of 4 »

Note that the pieces are still wrapped in original paper!

  • England, "The Rose Chess"
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 5.1; p 2.8
  • Box 10.8×7.1×3.4
  • Small "Rose" model in small sized box with:
    "PATENT No 546516"
  • Most major pieces (pawns not) stamped at bottom with (parts of) "ROSE", "MADE IN ENGLAND" and "P/PAT.5280" !!
313 01
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  • England, "The Rose Chess"
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 5.1; p 2.8
  • Box 10.8×7.1×3.4
  • Small "Rose" model in small sized box with: "PATENT No 546516"
  • Most major pieces (pawns not) stamped at bottom with (parts of) "ROSE", "MADE IN ENGLAND" and "P/PAT.5280" !!
396 02
« 1 of 4 »
  • England, "Staunton" (in Rose Chess manner)
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 6.4; p 2.9
  • Pieces not stamped
494 01
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  • England, "Staunton" (in Rose Chess manner)
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 6.4; p 2.9
  • Box 18.0x11.7x3.4
  • Pieces not stamped

Lead chess set by Britain from around WWII, based on the Staunton design. I do not know much of it, but these sets were sold in large presentation boxes as well as simple cardboard boxes (mostly with blue lid). Unfortunately I have only one set pieces and no boxes.

367 01
  • England, by Britain, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1940
  • Lead K 5.0; p 2.9

Plastic sets are ignored by most collectors. I think that is unjustified. BCC sets in Xylonite, or the wooden with Xylonite knight heads, are very collectable. Unfortunately I do not have it in my collection.

Bakelite disc sets, like "The Services Set", can be found in Symbols and figurines page.

Here are Galalith and Catalin sets in the "Staunton" design, which are quite old and interesting. Galalith and Catalin are old plastics which hardly, if at all, have been produced after WWII. Galalith could not be formed in moulds, so the pieces are turned and carved by hand. Catalin required every piece being individually cast and polished, which  became too expensive at the end of WWII.

The first set is of Galalith. It is interesting, because the board can be folded and put over the box in order to close it. There is a difficult to read logo at the closing flap of the board. There are, in a circle, a big combined "R" and "M", another big "M" and "URIE" as well as the word "PATENT". Below the circle it states "APP.FOR". I'm not sure what it means, but it could be RM Murie, maybe the manufacturer, but that is a name unknown to me. It is assumed that Uhlig made the pieces, because they are exactly designed as Uhlig sets like the bone "Staunton".

The second set is of Catalin and made by F.H.Ayres. We know the latter, because of equal sets in a cassette with the F.H.Ayres logo. However these pieces have characteristics of the Uhlig sets. Maybe the pieces were made by Uhlig as well.

The "Grays of Cambridge Silette Chess" in Catalin is based on "Staunton".

Even plastic sets from the 50ies are interesting, as the set with the plastic box proves. There exists a matching board, but at my set the board is of perspex (I think) and of later date (I think).

The later House Martin chess set is a cheap, hollow plastic, "Staunton" set.

371 01
  • England, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1930
  • Galalith K 5.7; p 2.9
  • Box 14.0×7.5×7.2
  • Board 26.7(31.7)×25.9
  • Pieces are probably made by Uhlig
369 01
« 1 of 2 »
  • England, by F.H.Ayres, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1930
  • Catalin K 7.6; p 3.5
  • Box 18.2×13.3×6.8
190 01
« 1 of 5 »
  • England, by Grays of Cambridge, "Silette Chess"
  • ca. 1935
  • Catalin K 6.2; p 3.4
  • Box 17.0×9.4×6.7
370 01
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  • England, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1950
  • Plastic K 7.4; p 4.1
  • Box 16.4×14.6×6.7
  • Board 44.2×44.2×0.9
233 01
« 1 of 4 »
  • England, by House Martin, "Staunton"
  • 20th century
  • Plastic K 7.0; p 3.2
  • Original box 17.4×9.0×4.0