An early BCC Staunton chess set

When I saw this scarce set on Mendip Auctions it became a must-have morsel or a tasty lunch – the incorrect description did not as I expected affect the bidding price, however no matter:-

‘A Staunton chess set, with retailer’s Crown marks for Jacques & Son, height of king 10.5cm, together with a pine box with sliding cover, a composite set of draughts and a leather folding chess/backgammon board’.

If you watch antiques programmes on TV, you are lucky if you hear the word ‘collector’ mentioned, so the knowledge that we collectors have combined with very knowledgeable CCI members would terrify huge numbers of antique specialists because the passion we have for this pastime is quite incredible. Getting stuff shipped from auction houses can be a bit of a hassle, so on the advice of a Catherine Brand of the auction house I used the reliable and competent Westbrook Packing & Despatch Logistics and a favourable price was offered and accepted – the service was first rate. Recently it was suggested to me by a half decent likeable Glasgow club player that ‘everything has its price’ – hmmmm, getting your hands on the ‘Lyons lunch’ can cost limbs and organs, as my passion for BCC sets outweighs Jacques bigtime!

Sets with these slender bishops appear to be rather scarce, since the only set with such bishops that I have seen was from the site albeit with single collar pawns. The set – a size 2 – came with its original slide lid box with clear evidence of its original label now unfortunately gone. This set can be dated to 1893, as the ‘lizard’ knight was introduced and stated in the ‘Materials of War’ price list 1893/94. It should be stated that without Mick Deasey sourcing this very important document the BCC publication, The British Chess Company Stroud & London, would have been a great deal more difficult to publish as this made understanding the 1891 catalogue easier as some sets had survived with both the ‘cavalier’ & ‘lizard’ knights present which certainly confused researchers like myself big time, so kudos to Mick for this.




Posted on

September 4, 2020

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