A small late 19th century Staunton chess set

Here is just about the smallest Staunton pattern I have in my collection. A very fortunate Ebay purchase from a decent seller, this is a beautiful old set. No damage, and the box is great too. Kings measure approximately 60mm:-


When I saw this offering it became my number one target all because I have had an identical set since about 2008/9, and I have found that there appear to be very few nicely turned Stauntons of such a small size out there.  The king has a base width of a tad less then an inch, with the queen being about the same. The bishop has a deep mitre down to the first turned ring on its head, the rooks boast 4 crenellations, and the queens have 8 points on their crowns. With no stamping these delightful small chessmen cannot be attributed to BCC, so who might have made these small unweighted Stauntons? The answer may well be Ayres, but these sets might have been turned out to use up surplus material, yet why having searched for around 10 years for an identical set, have I found it so difficult to get a desired second one? It could be that being of such a small size, fellow collectors have decided to leave such sets alone – long may they keep doing so as that leaves more for greedy old me! Having avoided collecting the largest and most costly of chess sets, I am mighty happy with my collection inclusive of the  small sets, and at least some of my smaller boards can be put to good use. One thing that I am pretty confident about is that is if a nicely turned Jaques Staunton set of such a small size appeared for sale, there would be serious interest from collectors out there, however I have yet to see such a set so who knows what might turn up?!






Posted on

April 11, 2021

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