ANTIQUE JAQUES STAUNTON IVORY CLUB CHESS SET
Height of king: 4½ inches / 11.4 cm
Stock number: RW9498/0718
A fine Jaques Staunton ivory club chess set in a fitted mahogany box, dating from about 1855, the King height is 4½ inches and is marked ‘JAQUES LONDON‘ on the base of the white king, the condition is very fine and there is little or no evidence of wear, damage repair or replacement. There are two red Jaques labels, on the bottom interior of the case and on the external base and the box has its original key. The silver Leuchars London label is overstamped ‘Geoffroy Succ 2 Rue de la Paix Paris‘ and indicates that the set was resold by the then owner around the turn of the century.
Reputedly, a gift from H F L Meyer in London to Jean-Louis Preti in Paris in 1872, this set was purchased by the current owner near Quimpere France 20 or so years ago. This gift is evidenced by a carte de visite from Meyer to Preti which was with papers and photographs in the box under the bottom tray of pieces.
That Meyer and Preti were known to each other is undoubted as they were both well known editors and authors at the same time and we believe that Meyer was a contributor to Preti’s magazine, “La Strategie”
Jean-Louis Preti (1798 – 1881) was editor of the world famous La Strategie chess magazine from its first issue in 1867 until 1875, published from his base at the Café De La Régence in Paris. His son Numa Preti succeeded him as editor from 1875 to 1907. Preti coauthored three books with Philippe Ambroise Durand, including ‘Stratégie raisonnée des ouvertures de jeux d’échecs’ (1862). Part of the bundle purchased in 1996 (not for sale now) is a first edition copy of this book with an original photograph of Preti and Durand.
Heinrich Friedrich Ludwig Meyer was an amateur chess player and composer of problems and author of ‘A Complete Guide To The Game Of Chess, From The Alphabet To The Solution And Construction Of Problems’ in 1882. He was editor of the Boys Own Paper and believed to be a wealthy benefactor of chess.
Also included in the 1996 sale was a Jaques status quo travel set with a brass Café De La Régence oblong plaque. This was sold to Garrick Coleman in around 2000 and it was purchased by a collector.
There was also a photograph (not for sale) and message from A C Vasquez to Numa Preti, editor of la strategie, dated 27th December 1889. Vasquez was a well known Cuban player who had little success against great players of the late 19th century but played most of them.
It is difficult to extend the provenance beyond a reputed ownership by Preti and or the Café de la Régence but the range of artefacts in the bundle do give the claim strong credibility.
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