Chess Manufacturer, The House of Staunton, Discusses the History of the Staunton Pattern Chess Pieces

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Chess Manufacturer, The House of Staunton, Discusses the History of the Staunton Pattern Chess Pieces

Chess equipment supplier, The House of Staunton, reveals the history and story behind their legendary chessmen.

The House of Staunton's Theory on The Origin of Staunton Chessmen

History tells us that Nathaniel Cook registered the Staunton design on March 1st, 1849. John Jaques of London then obtained the rights to manufacture the Staunton design, and in 1849 he started selling them to chess retailers.

Of course, no story is complete without intrigue. So, The House of Staunton offers their theory as to how the Staunton chessmen came to be. 

The House of Staunton theorizes that John Jaques actually created the Staunton design. Jaques was a noted businessman and craftsman and thus capable of creating the design. The House of Staunton believes that Jaques asked his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Cook, to help him market the design. Cook helped Jaques by registering the design and convincing noted chess personality of the time, Howard Staunton, to lend his name to it—an action that was widely publicized at the time.

A Need for Staunton Chessmen in The Mid-1800s

Before the Staunton design appeared, players relied on ornamental chess sets. However, these decorative sets were ill suited for play. Consequently, players began to demand a set of chessmen better suited to their needs. The Staunton design was created in response to this need.

Jaques assessed the ornamental chess sets and decided to remove the decorative features most likely to be damaged during a game. He also widened the bases of each piece and added lead to them to increase their stability.

With the introduction of the Staunton design, chess players gained a chess set for recreational play. The Staunton design's low production cost also meant that the set could be sold for a more affordable price. As a result, Jaques gained a wider customer base, and the demand for Staunton pieces grew.

Staunton Chessmen Withstand The Test of Time

The Staunton design has retained its popularity for over 160 years.

Today, the Staunton design is the standard for serious and recreational play. The design is clean and simple. And, though the Staunton design came to market over 160 years ago, it continues to retain a modern appeal.

The finely detailed Knight head is the hallmark of the Staunton design. The design for the Knight was derived from the famous and heroic steeds depicted in the Parthenon frieze. Today, the Knight retains its stunning, high quality old-World craftsmanship.

About The House of Staunton: The House of Staunton is an American locally owned and operated small business. For over 27 years, they have manufactured the world's finest chess equipment. The House of Staunton supplies chess equipment, chess sets, chess boards, and chess boxes. They are also the equipment provider for top chess tournaments worldwide. Their chess sets are featured in numerous movies and television shows as well as on book covers and in print ads!

Media Contact: Shawn P. Sullivan, The House of Staunton, Inc., 256.858.8070,

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SOURCE The House of Staunton

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