Help with identifying a vintage set please...


Hi All,


First of all, hello everyone. I am new here and this is my very first post, so be gentle...!


I have been a mender of a number of various forums (on other subjects, this is my first chess forum) and know that there is nothing more annoying than a new member asking a very basic question when there are threads and threads abounding with precisely the right answer/discussion. So if I have managed to do exactly that on my first post, profuse apologies...!


Ok. I have just received a set I bought on eBay which initially looked like an original BCC set. The issue for me was the seller posted appalling pictures so I had to take a gamble. The box looked like the clasp type, the Knights looked like they could be Xylonite and a few other things suggested they may be an early BCC... or perhaps an early Jaques with the clasp box... no sizes, no nothing.


Anyway, in a moment of madness I bought them anyway. They arrived today and they are actually really nice. The thing is, I'm not sure of they are either Jaques or BCC... they could simply be an early set based on that pattern from basically anyone... and may have no real value at all. Having said that though, its 3" King, so it nice to own an early set of smaller pieces. I tend to play with sets rather than collect, and it would make a nice travel set with a fold up board.


Could anyone perhaps suggest what they are? The box has a handwritten name of 'Sergt Pringle, London Rifle Brigade' (sic) which dates it to 1859 to 1960.


I will post some pictures, but I would welcome any comments/suggestions. Thank you.


King 2.933


King 2.9" (base 1.3")


Queen 2.23


Queen 2.22" (base 1.16")




Bishop 1.970" (base 1.049")




Knight 1.562" (base 1.060")




Rook 1.585" (base 1.061")


Some alternative Knight pictures...








Alternative Rook pictures...




Rooks and Knights...  




You will notice the Rooks are taller than the Knights... and have different bases... but are all the same. Possibly all Rooks are from a different set, but I have seen this before... 


The Bishops mitre inst cut flat, but effectively has two internal surfaces that meet in the middle at about 45 degrees, so two cuts, not one flat cut... (but not curved and sculpted internally).


The box...




Inside Box lid...




Box edge detail...




I am not sure what this set is, and searching online has raised more questions than answers...  It isnt of the very highest quality, although close up photos of quite small pieces make them look more crude than they actually appear when playing.


Overall, I have a set that I guess is somewhere between 60 and 100 years old. They look nice and they may have some real history (perhaps from a First or Second World War NCO... or at least thats how I will imagine their providence!) and they are just 'nice'... so I'm happy regardless of the verdict. Valuable? Unlikely, I would think... but I'm happy... and thats really all that matters.


Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I'm looking forward to any answers...


Welcome Bill happy.png ! I am pretty sure it is a British Chess Company set  . Alan on the forum here would know more. Similar to mine accept your King has the "finished" cross ... nullnullnull


Thank you Ronbo710, for both the welcome and the answer😊


Your rooks look more 'right' than mine do. I suspect maybe mine are replacements. Everything else looks good. I'll wait for Alan to comment... Thanks though, very helpful.


I too thought it was a BCC


Doesn't look like a BCC set to my eye, the bishops, queen, and king are slightly off imo. Who knows though.


sorry to contradict you, Ron, but this is definitely not a BCC set. Nor is it a Jaques. It looks to be an early 20th century British set (I'd say 1930s), one of many that copied/varied the "BCC Staunton Popular" set design. Nice set, but not a collector's item, I'm afraid.

I suspect many of these sets were actually produced in France (which is why you often see this type of set w/ regency-style knight heads) and then resold in England.


Thank you everyone... 

Having had it a little while now I have come to see it is unlikely to be a BCC set. It was more hope than expectation.

One of those things where I bought something on eBay in a moment of madness (retail therapy for the bored/aimless!) and then afterwards realised I didn't need it and it was probably a waste of time and money.


I have two genuine Jaques sets in different sizes and really, I cant think of a single justifiable reason for buying this particular set. I think I got carried away with the soldiers name and the fact that regiment formed just before WW1 and disbanded in the early sixties... which kind of meant it had a 'story'.

Never mind... I can always sell it again in a few months. I'll no doubt lose some money on the reselling - and perhaps that will make me think a little more carefully next time... although thats unlikely knowing myself!

Thank you all again for your comments...




Hello Bill .

One of those things where I bought something on eBay in a moment of madness (retail therapy for the bored/aimless!) and then afterwards realised I didn't need it and it was probably a waste of time and money.

Still sometimes you get luckily .  Thing is there's more info now & It's now seens that the desire to own a Real Jaques sets / BCC / FH Ayres has  rocketed over the years meaning it's not  cheap .

So in sense you get what you pay for unless you get really Lucky .  What sellers are selling on ebay /or Asking

shows how crazy it can get ? 

Just look at the market also for repo Jaques sets / BCC / FH Ayres . that not cheap .