I was wondering if anyone could identify the manufacturer of these chess pieces, or possibly the name of its design (beyond just "Staunton". It's correct I think, but want to know more)

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2 Answers 2


This is beautiful set, and a nice photo. I imagine it is a family heirloom that has gained a nice patina from much use. It looks very much like one of the original sets from the 1800s by Jacques of London and I would go to their website. https://houseofstaunton.com

In the early sets, rather delightfully, the rooks had a small K or Q symbol engraved inside the turret, so that, in the manner of the time, you could write the score as "Kings Rook at the adverse Queens Bishops square, giving Checkmate"

  • That would be incredible! It lacks a few of the details of many Jaques of London sets as far as I can tell, but the patina is there and it is lovely. I picked it up yesterday on Ebay Kleinanzeigan (German ebay) for 40€! It has now fallen into the hands of some chess-keen philosophy students living in Berlin. This shall be an absolute treasure. I'll update if I find out anything more.
    – Jack
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 9:20
  • Did such sets also distinguish the KN from the QN? and, if so, where on the piece?
    – Rosie F
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 13:05
  • Lucky you!!!!!!
    – Philip Roe
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 2:41
  • @RosieF: If the knights are faced inward at the start of the game, and not rotated, their orientation would indicate their origin. On the other hand, I find myself wondering how notation which distinguishes between the knights or rooks would handle scenarios involving underpromotion to such pieces, or for that matter to a bishop which occupies the same color squares as another live bishop.
    – supercat
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 16:41
  • @supercat The object of old-fashioned notation was to to use the least amount of information that would avoid ambiguity and place least strain on the reader. So KR-K5 if it was still obvious which Rook had started where, or R(7)-K5 if there was risk of confusion. Similarly for all the other cases you mention. This is context-dependent and a bit subjective; hence the change. But echoes of descriptive notation, like "a Rook on the seventh" are immensely valuable.
    – Philip Roe
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 16:52

It's design is called Staunton, named after chessmaster Howard Staunton (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staunton_chess_set).

This chess set is the FIDE official recommended one for tournaments.

  • 3
    It's not quite standard Staunton. The Staunton king has a cross, while this has a more complex symbol.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 20:42

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