“The Rose Chess”  (England)

"The Rose Chess" was produced and patented on 24 April 1941 by The Rose Chess company of Mrs Mildred Rose of Rofant Road, Northwood, Middlesex. However, 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. Picture below of (part of?) the patent is copied from "chess-collection.de".

There are boxes in 3 sizes, labels in 3 variants, 2 different patent numbers, large and small sets. You see large sets in large boxes, large and small sets in medium boxes and small sets in small boxes. According Dennis Hunt, in an article called “My life (so far) as a collector” In USA-News – Chess Collectors International – Vol.8,no.3 (October 2001), does the patent describe 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

There is one variant, which is extremely scarce. I bought mine 8 years ago and only now (August 2018) I saw another which I bought as well (sic). 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.

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

The "NO. 1 SET" indication could have been introduced when the smaller set came out. 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 😉 So in the end I think it is a kind of quality indication (as is "de luxe" nowadays).

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. Not sure that's original. Boxes can have other colours as well, like green.

"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.

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This set from 1941 is one of two 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)
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This set from 1941 is the other 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)
« 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"
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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"
« 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"
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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" !!
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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" !!

I do not believe that the more Staunton looking variant, which is rather scarce, is made by Mildred Rose, because pieces are not stamped. September 2017 a set with box appeared, but without label or other indication. The box is like the large box of The Rose Chess, including small inner box (fixed this time), but of inferior quality. If it was from Mildred Rose you would expect a label like on the other sets. So I think the more Staunton looking variant is a cheaper copy of The Rose Chess from another source. In different pattern to avoid patent problems, maybe?

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  • England, "Staunton" (in Rose Chess manner)
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 6.4; p 2.9
  • Pieces not stamped
« of 10 »

 

  • England, "Staunton" (in Rose Chess manner)
  • ca. 1942
  • Lead K 6.4; p 2.9
  • Box 18.0x11.7x3.4
  • Pieces not stamped