The House of Staunton is proud to offer another masterpiece - The Cooke Series Staunton pattern Chessmen. It is exact reproduction of the Jaques of London Chessmen Circa 1849 Cooke Staunton Pattern Chessmen. These Chessmen feature a 3.5" King with a 1.75" Diameter base and are very heavily weighted. This is an accurate reproduction of the original Boxwood and Ebony Staunton chessmen. There is some controversy as to who actually designed these revolutionary chessmen, Nathaniel Cooke, John Jaques or Howard Staunton. What is known is that, on 1st March, 1849, Nathaniel Cooke, 198, Strand, London, registered an Ornamental Design for a set of Chess-Men, under the Ornamental Designs Act of 1842.. The sole manufacturer was the London firm of John Jaques and bore the name of the most prominent player of that time, Howard Staunton.
The right to manufacture such sets was acquired by John Jaques who began to supply the retail trade on 29 September, 1849. On the same day, the following advertisement appeared Illustrated London News: A set of Chessmen, of a pattern combining elegance and solidity to a degree hitherto unknown, has recently appeared under the auspices of the celebrated player Mr. STAUNTON. A guiding principle has been to give by their form a signification to the various pieces - thus the king is represented by a crown, the Queen by a coronet. The pieces generally are fashioned with convenience to the hand; and it is to be remarked, that while there is so great an accession to elegance of form, it is not attained at the expense of practical utility. Mr. STAUNTON'S pattern adopts but elevates the conventional form; and the base of the Pieces being of a large diameter, they are more steady than ordinary sets. Illustrated London News, September 8, 1849.
Shortly thereafter, the Morning Herald wrote: A new set of Chessmen has recently appeared under the auspices of Mr. STAUNTON, who, observing their manifest superiority over the old figures in ordinary use, not only as works of art, but in the more practical necessities of convenience, has vouchsafed the guarantee of his name and recommendation. Those who have been in the habit of playing the game will remember the awkward, and inelegant structure of the generality of the shapes which have been in vogue. No artificial feeling until now has ever been brought to bear upon the formation of a pattern which should satisfy the eye both on the score of elegance and propriety.
And the Morning Chronicle wrote: Mr, STAUNTON, the well-known Chess-player, has associated his name with a new and improved set of Chessmen, of which we have seen a specimen. The chief respect in which these Chess-men differ from the various kinds now in use in this country is that the form of each piece more effectually represents what is intended to be conveyed: as for instance, The King is surmounted by a crown, the Queen with a Queenly coronet, and so in like manner with the other pieces.
The rest is history. The Staunton pattern chessmen quickly became the World standard for serious and casual play. The relatively low production cost brought chess to the masses and did much to popularize the game. Its clean, simple design has never been equaled - the original design looks as modern today as it did upon its introduction over 145 years ago.
Here's your chance to own a set of tournament-sized Staunton chessmen exactly as they looked when they first appeared in stores on September 29, 1849! Note the masterful workmanship on the original Knights Derived from the noble steeds whose visages are captured in the Parthenon frieze (expropriated in 1806 by Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord of Elgin and since referred to as the Elgin Marbles), the distinctive, finely detailed Knight head was the hallmark of the Staunton design. The Chess pieces are hand carved by our master artisans and crafted out of the highest grade woods. The Chess pieces are heavily weighted with luxurious billiard cloth base pads and a beautiful finish. The design of the Cooke Series Chess set embodies the form, board presence and craftsmanship of the original Staunton pattern Chessmen, named after the designer of the original Staunton Chessmen - Nathaniel Cooke. The House of Staunton has recaptured the essence of these magnificent Chessmen and made them available on a very limited basis.
As with all of our Chess sets, the Cooke Series exemplifies a perfect combination of distinct beauty and functionality. It has been designed to withstand the rigors of practical play while maintaining an elegance which has become the hallmark of a House of Staunton chess set. The design, quality and craftsmanship of this set is UNMATCHED by any set of Chessmen in its price range. Nothing even comes close!
The Chessmen are new and each set consists of 34 Chessmen, including four Queens, a standard that was introduced by The House of Staunton in 1993.
The Chess Set comes with a Individually Numbered Certificate of Authenticity and an original manufacturer's plaque indicating the production number, with an adhesive backing that would allow it to be affixed to the underside of a Chess box.
Our Original Manufacturer's Plaque
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Now Available From The House of Staunton
Actual Circa 1849 Jaques of London Cooke Pattern Staunton Chess sets with a 3.58" King historically sell for upwards of $5,000 USD at auction. To put this number in context, please consider the fact that Chess pieces of this age always have blemishes, such as dirt, cracks, chips, dings, patina discoloration and possibly replacement pieces. Here's your opportunity to purchase an exact reproduction of these legendary Chessmen, in Pristine Condition, for a fraction of the price!