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Catalog Product Code: MENWPOP40
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In its continuing effort to document the illustrious history of the Staunton Chessmen, The House of Staunton is proud to introduce the first Chess set of our new British Chess Company Collection - The Staunton Popular. A full tournament-sized Chess set, it features a 4.0" King with a 1.65" diameter base. 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.
Unlike other Staunton Pattern sets of the period, in particular those offered by the rival firm Jaques of London, the Staunton Popular was designed for durability. When reviewing the images below, please note the tight Queen crenulations, the closed Bishop mitre and the compact design of the Knight. This is a set designed for serious play and able to withstand the most demanding usage. Which is exactly what the sets were subjected to at the Coffee houses that dominated London's Chess scene in the early 1900s. This set was designed to last and it did!
As with all of our Chess sets, the Popular Staunton 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 over 10 years ago.
The Chess Set comes with a reproduction of the original British Chess Company production label indicating the production number, with an adhesive backing that would allow it to be affixed to the underside of a Chess box.
Page from British Chess Company Catalog Circa 1894
"The Royal Chessmen are excellent. I strongly recommend them to Chess Clubs and to all Chess Players." British Chess Champion J. H. Blackburne commenting on the British Chess Company Chessmen - November 19, 1891
While there is little known about the British Chess Company itself, also known as B.C. Co., the effect that they have had on the world of Staunton Chessmen is immeasurable. Many Contemporary Staunton Pattern Chess sets, including those of the House of Staunton, were heavily influenced by the designs of the British Chess Company.
The British Chess Company was founded in the late 19th century in The Rock Mills, Stroud, Gloucester, England. At the time of its inception, it's primary competitor was the legendary firm Jaques of London. Unlike Jaques, BCC focused exclusively on Chess-related products. While many of their products were typical for the period, including Wooden Chess sets and Folding Chess boards, they also produced some very unusual items. This includes Xylonite Chess sets, Leatherette Chess boards and even Chess trophies. Never able to match the success of its well-established competitor, the British Chess Company ceased shortly before World War II.
Although their involvement is largely uncredited, Mr. Camaratta's research has revealed that The British Chess Company was also a pioneer in Telegraphic Chess Matches (those played between countries via telegraph wire).
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