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Reproduction and Real Jaques of London Chess Set

IpswichMatt

I recently came across a Jaques Club size set which had the label stuck to the underside of the box, as opposed to the underside of the lid which is normal.

Has anyone any knowledge of this? Were sets ever sold like this or has someone moved the label?

greghunt
IpswichMatt wrote:

I recently came across a Jaques Club size set which had the label stuck to the underside of the box, as opposed to the underside of the lid which is normal.

Has anyone any knowledge of this? Were sets ever sold like this or has someone moved the label?

I can't help with direct knowledge, but if the label is on the bottom of the box it should be showing a great deal of wear if it is original, it would be no surprise for it to be more or less gone.  

alleenkatze

Could the lid have been turned over somehow?  Slide or hinged?

mikejungle

@Rishi9, thanks for that! 

I guess that there were some versions of the "1849" production where carvers made these knights? Deeper neck carvings, less derpy looking expressions, etc.? 

Given that Official Staunton has made "correct" reproductions of the 1849 with the drop jaw, aggressively tapered snout, and smooth neck carvings, I would think they were trying to make something else with this 1849. I just wish I knew exactly what their reference material was, but thanks for pointing this out.

madmacsback
IpswichMatt wrote:

I recently came across a Jaques Club size set which had the label stuck to the underside of the box, as opposed to the underside of the lid which is normal.

Has anyone any knowledge of this? Were sets ever sold like this or has someone moved the label?

Matt, Here is what Dr. Alan Fersht has to say about the location of the labels:

Labels

Each of the first series of sets had a white label stuck under the box, personally signed by H. Staunton, the “Distinguished Player” (Figure 3). Staunton also personally numbered each set, up to at least No. 684. The first labels were headed THE STAUNTON CHESS-MEN. The name of Jaques either did not appear on them or is very faint on the left side of the entered number with LONDON on the right, either in a straight line or curved. The label described the contents and price. The Carton Pierre boxes, described later, retained their labels underneath. By the time the 600s had been reached, the label of the mahogany boxes for boxwood and ebony sets had migrated to under the hinged lid, which was fortunate because very few of the ones under mahogany boxes have survived legibly. The labels for these boxwood sets are green, and JAQUES LONDON is at the bottom.

 

So it looks like what you have is a pretty early club set. 

forked_again
mikejungle wrote:

@Rishi9, thanks for that! 

I guess that there were some versions of the "1849" production where carvers made these knights? Deeper neck carvings, less derpy looking expressions, etc.? 

Given that Official Staunton has made "correct" reproductions of the 1849 with the drop jaw, aggressively tapered snout, and smooth neck carvings, I would think they were trying to make something else with this 1849. I just wish I knew exactly what their reference material was, but thanks for pointing this out.

There was not one single style of knight by Jaques in the beginning , and OS is no more correct than other vendors selling jaques reproductions.  Look at the variety below with varying levels of "Derpiness" as you say, in their expressions happy.png.  OS buys from Indian companies.

JoPublic

OS and SC have definitely offered the best in terms of jaques reproductions and are accurate in form. And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, it’s common knowledge almost all vendors source from various Indian manufacturing.

from OS a superb knight in my opinion 

 

IpswichMatt

Thanks for the replies! The label is green and it is showing lots of wear.

forked_again
JoPublic wrote:

OS and SC have definitely offered the best in terms of jaques reproductions and are accurate in form. And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, it’s common knowledge almost all vendors source from various Indian manufacturing.

from OS a superb knight in my opinion 

 

 

Yes it is a superb knight, and I bet it was produced by Staunton Castle for OS.  

TundraMike

A little semantics today "Real Jaques of London".

Jaques of London is still in business and has always been in business.  At what year, if you bought a set with their name on it, did it become just a repro and not an "original"?   I mean when does it become a "collectable" set or just a common ordinary repro set?  Maybe they should change it up a bit and call their top of the line set the 2022 Jaques of London collectable set. 

Every so many year they were changing the design a bit until what year? Then going forward I guess they were all repro sets.  You see what I am trying to explain here I hope.  I think I saw many from the 1920s  for sale and they were different from the original set which were all a little different anyway.

Any set bought from Jaques of London has to be deemed a "Real Jaques of London".  

JoPublic
@forked - you’re way off the mark sir , as far as I’m aware OS has its own dedicated hub for around 90% of its production. They do not work with Mandeep (sc) or Gaurav (aiw) for the last 3 years at least. But yes their jaques reproductions are amongst the very best
Powderdigit

Well, well… the things one learns! Over half a century into my life and I’ve learned a new term! “Derpiness” - I went to the Google-verse to determine its meaning and “derp face” is indeed a thing! And it sums up why I have had so much trouble coming to grips (aesthetically) with this style of knight - the undershot jaw, shorter snout and chin up, straight ahead look. In saying that, I can also see the historical significance of the design and my comments are not intended to offend - rather just note rather wonderful breadth of designs available to us all - some to savour, some to question - reproduction or not - and for those of us like me, new to the game - wallow in its history and enjoy the discussion along the way.

forked_again
JoPublic wrote:
@forked - you’re way off the mark sir , as far as I’m aware OS has its own dedicated hub for around 90% of its production. They do not work with Mandeep (sc) or Gaurav (aiw) for the last 3 years at least. But yes their jaques reproductions are amongst the very best

Well if you have some inside scoop on where OS sources their sets from then cool.  But thanks for confirming that they at least used to use SC as a supplier.  I said what I said because the knight you posted looks exactly like the SC reproductions.  I know OS was selling the distressed reproductions from SC and no one does that distressed antiquing job as well as SC  IMO, and it was obvious that OS was selling the same sets.

But I looked on the OS website and they don't seem to have a Jaques repro set with that style of knight currently, so maybe I am right to say that SC made the knight you posted back when they were working together?  

JoPublic
@forked - you’re guessing at best ! The antiquing distress process was created By Carl Miceli ( os owner) thereafter Mandeep (sc) and others stole his concept - there are countless collectors who could easily testify to this. Or better still deploy a historical search using web archive

In regard to working with SC - Carl employed their manufacturing services in 2006 and ended that relationship in 2017 when SC went into retail and undercut and undermined what OS had set up over the years. Again well documented. Apparently SC also manufactured for HOS however that ended in similar circumstances, it’s well documented on this platform if you’re interested of course

OS no longer ships to the USA because of the relentless piracy and distress caused by the disloyal Indian manufacturing personnel who
Guarantee sole distributorship of some designs but then go on to sell those “exclusives” to other vendors ! So much so, OS we’re accused of copying HOS designs, however, the facts were evident in the long run that Mandeep was supplying both companies very similar sets with minuscule differences in order to defend their exclusive business agreement.
azbobcat
TundraMike wrote:

A little semantics today "Real Jaques of London".

Jaques of London is still in business and has always been in business.  At what year, if you bought a set with their name on it, did it become just a repro and not an "original"?   I mean when does it become a "collectable" set or just a common ordinary repro set?  Maybe they should change it up a bit and call their top of the line set the 2022 Jaques of London collectable set. 

[snip]

Any set bought from Jaques of London has to be deemed a "Real Jaques of London".  

 

"Jacques of London" today is a shadow of Jacques of London of yesteryear. Most of today's Jacques sets are a) Over Priced b) as reproductions go they are hardly the best. In short you paying a lot of money for a so-so reproduction of one of their earlier sets; what you are REALLY paying for is their NAME. In reality while Jaques' sets of of yesterday may have been works of playable Art, compared to sets sets being produced TODAY, Jacques' sets are truly crude.  Given a choice of one of today's Jacques of London reproduction of one of their earlier sets  -- usually the 1849 set -- and a modern set made by HOS, I'll take the HOS set any day. Jaques' hasn't produced anything original in 100 years or more. Any innovation in chess set design has come from HOS and everyone has followed their lead.  The 2 Queens per side was a HOS idea -- now EVERYONE provides 2 Queens per side; they have introduced sets are so good that they appear in movies -- the HOS "Empire" set was in Star Wars, because it fit in a futuristic age; instead of using just Ebony and Boxwood for their sets -- the "Classic" woods"  they create sets of woods other than Boxwood and Ebony.

Sorry, Jacques of London  *once* -- about 100 years ago -- produced quality chess sets; then they produced a bunch of sub par sets; today while the quality of their sets has vastly improved they charge way to much money for a set that you can buy from HOS, OS, SC, or any of a number of other companies that will cost in the $50-$100 range. Once they start producing new sets of new designs, and not just reproductions of their own sets of 100 years ago, offering sets that will not either break the bank, or break after a few uses*quality*, sets then and only then will a Jacques of London set be worth the money you pay for it.

JoPublic
Totally agree !
TundraMike

@azbobcat  I agree with you. I only brought it up as to what year do collectors consider a set from Jaques of London to be collectable vs. an also-ran. Did the transition take place sometime in the 1920s or maybe the 1930s?  I am not a historian of chess sets so I really do not know. What I do know is if you buy one of the best "repro" sets today that in itself might be very collectable in years to come. The top of the line OS pieces are excellent alone with I am sure a couple of other sellers for a Jaques "repro" set. 

lighthouse
TundraMike wrote:

@azbobcat  I agree with you. I only brought it up as to what year do collectors consider a set from Jaques of London to be collectable vs. an also-ran. Did the transition take place sometime in the 1920s or maybe the 1930s?  I am not a historian of chess sets so I really do not know. What I do know is if you buy one of the best "repro" sets today that in itself might be very collectable in years to come. The top of the line OS pieces are excellent alone with I am sure a couple of other sellers for a Jaques "repro" set. 

I think you find it's up to the mid 1940s as Jaques was bombed in WW2- Yet there had made the fischer spassky chess set in the early 70s , How many originals / or was it just for the match ? /  As there is so many repros just on this set alone .

 

TundraMike

@lighthouse  At that point in time in 1972, I would think that Jaques had already moved manufacturing to India.  Does anyone know what year they moved the manufacturing to India, possibly way before 1972?