“Staunton”  (France)

"Staunton" set made of Galalith of which I do not know the maker, but cassete says "Made in France". Maybe produced in the Jura. I think these sets are very collectable, although many collectors do ignore them!

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  • France, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1920
  • Galalith K 7.7; p 3.7
  • Cassette 31.0×24.7×4.5

These 2 sets are listed as "Galalith or Bakelite" and ca.1920, but could be of some other plastic (Catalin?) and of some later date (1950?) as well. I'm not sure. I noticed that the disks at the set with checkers could be of another plastic as the chess pieces. Need some more investigation here...

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  • France, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1920
  • Galalith or Bakelite K 3.2; p 2.5
  • Box 37.0×26.8×7.7
  • Board 21.5×21.5
  • Set "Made in France" for "Juegos y juguetes", "Arnau", "Fernando 18 Barcelona"
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  • France, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1920
  • Galalith or Bakelite K 3.2; p 2.5
  • Box 30.0×24.0×7.0
  • Board 20.0×20.0

Wooden "Staunton" sets have been made in France in huge quantities. The area around Saint Claude in the Jura, because boxwood was present in huge quantities, was important for chess set manufacturing in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Henry Lardy, being the biggest, Henri Chavet, Michel Roz, Vauchier et fils and Jurabuis are all chess set manufacturers. Next to "Staunton" they did also produce "Régence" sets.

Lardy was founded in 1890 and situated in Dortan in the French Jura. Their dominance of chess set making was in period 1930ies till early 1970ies, when they sold their sets all over the world. Late 1980ies they stopped producing chess sets. Apparently their shop closed in 1992. The Lardy pattern has been licensed to many other manufactures around the world. See for instance Hempfling “Staunton”  (Germany) or Homas 20st century  (Netherlands). Lardy chessmen were available felted and unfelted, as well as weighted and unweighted. They ranged in size from the small set with a 2-3/4” King, to large Club-size sets with King heights over 4-3/4”. Next to the Lardy pattern with it's characteristic Knight, they made also better quality sets with knights having glass eyes.

The Staunton chess set from 1968 was a gift of my parents and I used that set many years to play with. I simply did not have another playable set! It was not my very first one, that one is lost, but the longest present in my collection. Most likely it is a Lardy set, but there is no Lardy label, only a sticker on the bottom of the box stating "Made in France".

The 1970 chess set is an ordinary boxwood "Staunton" set, made by one of the makers in the Jura. I do not know who, but if someone knows, please tell me. This set is equal to my first set that I used to learn chess with. Or maybe it is just a bit larger than my lost set. In my childhood I could only afford a small set!

The Chavet chess set from 2000 was a gift of Nicholas Lanier when I visited him august 2016.

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  • France, by Lardy? "Staunton"
  • 1968
  • Fruitwood + rosewood K 8.5; p 4.1
  • Box 21.2×13.5×7.0

Maybe the white pieces are Olivewood?

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  • France, "Staunton"
  • 1970
  • Boxwod K 7.5; p 3.5
  • Box 19.4×10.1×6.6
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  • France, by Chavet Chess, "Staunton"
  • 2000
  • Wood K 7.5; p 3.6
  • Box 18.0×11.4×6.8