(John) Jaques of London 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 Cooke, 198 Strand, London. John and Nathaniel were related by the marriage of John's son John (II) with Nathaniel's daughter Harriet Ingram. A lot of chess set patterns was found in Jaques 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. Below a few pages from their famous pattern book.
- England, by Jaques, "Staunton" ("late Anderssen")
- ca. 1870
- Boxwood + ebony K 7.4; p 3.7
- Box 16.0×11.6×6.8
- England, by Jaques, "Staunton" ("Broadbent")
- ca. 1935
- Boxwood + ebony K 9.7; p 5.3
- Box 21.8×16.8×10.8
F.H.Ayres. The business and factory of Frederick Henry Ayres, manufacturer, was started 1864 and located at 10 Baldwin’s Place, Leather Lane, London EC by 1865, later at 71 to 75 Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell by 1869 to 1877 and finally at 111 Aldersgate Street, London, EC from 1877. It became F.H.Ayres Ltd. c1905 (known mainly for outdoor games). Later taken over by Slazenger (c1948). Here is a later "Staunton" example. I have several F.H.Ayres sets of different types, which you can find at other England pages. A rare signed travel set is on Travel (England) page.
- England, by F.H.Ayres, "Staunton"
- ca. 1930
- Catalin K 7.6; p 3.5
- Box 18.2×13.3×6.8
B&Co. The origins of B&Co. are shrouded in mystery. To this date, no one has been able to uncover any information on this company. What can be determined, based on the style of the chessmen, type style and the storage boxes produced to house them is that B&Co. started producing Staunton chessmen in the mid to late 1850s. B&Co. stampings are found on their hardware, such as their hinges. Their sets are rare.
- England, by B&Co. London, "Staunton"
- Late 19th century
- Boxwood + ebony K 7.4; p 4.0
There are a lot of other makers or retailers, like Asprey, J.Barr, BCC (founded by W. Moffat and W. Hughes, making chessmen from 1891 to about 1907, well known by the use of Xylonite, a celluloid), H.Dixon, C.Hastilov, W.Howard, W.Leuchars (probably the 1st retailer of Jaques Staunton sets), Wedgwood, R.Whitty, to name a few. I do not have examples of all of these makers/retailers, but you can find some of them elsewhere on my site. Here a "Staunton" set of an unknown maker.
- England, "Staunton"
- Late 19th century
- Boxwood + ebony K 6.5; p 3.5
20th century makers Mildred Rose and Britain made lead sets based on the "Staunton" design. You find them on "The Rose Chess" and Britain pages. On the Plastic page more "Staunton" sets of manufacturers like Grays of Cambridge and House Martin. On the latter page is a plastic travel set by F.H.Ayres as well (see also Travel (England)).