"chess set", "chess sets", "chess pieces", "chess museum", "schaak"

“St.George”  (England)

England. The name of "St.George" sets is derived from the London's chess club "St.George", where these kind of figures were used. They are definitely the most widespread type of sets in Britain, apart from the later Staunton sets.

Here some examples of British "St.George" sets. These are often called "Old English" as well, but in my opinion that name is better to reserve for the English designs of the 18th century.

The 1st set is almost certainly made by Calvert, although it is not signed and came with a box in which St.George sets of presumably Jaques are seen. It is one of my favourites because of the most beautiful Knights I have seen on English sets of this type. The Knights are made in one piece, which is rare in this kind of set.

The following other 5 sets are more common sets of unknown makers. Set nr.3 has a bishop and pawn replaced. Maybe the last has been made by Jaques?

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  • England, by Calvert? "St.George"
  • 1st half 19th century
  • Boxwood + rosewood K 9.3; p 4.7
  • Box presumably by Jaques 22.1×14.5×7.1
  • Knights are made of one piece of wood!
« of 6 »
  • England, "St.George"
  • Mid 19th century
  • Boxwood + rosewood K 9.1; p 3.9
« of 2 »
  • England, "St.George"
  • 2nd half 19th century
  • Boxwood + ebony K 7.9; p 3.5
« of 3 »
  • England, "St.George"
  • 19th century
  • Boxwood + ebony K 9.2; p 3.9
« of 3 »
  • England, "St.George"
  • 19th century
  • Boxwood + ebony K 10.6; p 4.3
« of 3 »
  • Engeland, by Jaques? "St. George"
  • Early 20th century (or earlier?)
  • Boxwood K 8.5; p 3.6

England. The "slope Knight" set is in fact a cheaper variant of the "St. George" pattern as no cutting is required apart from some simple incisions.

« of 2 »
  • England, "St.George with slope knights"
  • ca. 1900
  • Boxwood + rosewood K 5.6; p 2.4
  • Original box 11.8×8.5×4.8

England. You see the "st.George" pattern also in travel sets. These are pieces of a set by Merrifield. It lacks a board, so it is hard to tell what type it was, but I think it was most likely of the "Railway" type. Pieces of this set were offered at Ebay in several lots as spare pieces. I asked the seller to extract the Merrifield pieces, what he did. 2 red pawns were missing and have been remade by a professional chess set restorer.

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  • England, by George Merrifield, "St.George" (pegged)
  • Early 19th century
  • Ivory K 4.2; p 2.3

England. I got information that such travel sets were sold under the name "THE TRAVELLERS' CHESS BOARD, WITH CHESS MEN COMPLETE." by W.H.Smith & Son, 136, Strand, London in their bookstores at train stations. W.H.Smith were sellers of a wide range of goods at railway stations from the late 1840's. It's believed that the sets were made over a long period and the turned pieces changed in later years. Holger Langer lists a similar set signed by Samuel Fisher, 188 Strand. Although the latter has a folding board, but with same leatherette and decoration. The pieces are almost identical, only the lower collar of the king and queen differs.

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  • England, by Samuel Fisher? "St.George"
  • Mid 19th century (sold as 1900)
  • Bone K 3.3; p 1.6
  • Box/board 15.3×7.7×2.8

England. This vegetable ivory set has a certain "Dublin" influence, as well as some "St.George". The vegetable ivory of this set is actually the inner part of the Tagua nut found in South America. Until today it is used for all kinds of objects such as chess sets, buttons, figurines and jewellery.

« of 7 »
  • England, by F.H.Ayres, "Dublin/St.George influenced"
  • ca. 1900
  • Tagua nut (vegatable ivory) K 8.6; p 4.3