During our 20 years of service, we have also been privileged to have supplied quality chess pieces and sets to Linley at Belgravia, The Savoy London, and the TV show The Apprentice. We are also an approved distributor of the renowned English Chess Company, whose director, Malcolm Pein runs a chess editorial at the Daily Telegraph.
The reason we have such prestigious clients is our outstanding customer service. We offer same day dispatch, a no-quibble 30 day returns policy backed by a 2-year guarantee and we hand check all of our products before they leave our store. So if you're looking for a premium quality set then we look forward to serving you.
SHOPPING SECURITY ASSURED. Here at the Official Staunton Chess Company, we understand the importance of online security and with increased awareness of personal data protection, we have recently undergone a complete overhaul to ensure the security of the highest possible integrity.
Our Chess Sets
Official Staunton™ has been proudly serving customers since 1993 with the best chess pieces, boards, clocks, and more. We also hand-pick the finest boards from around the world. Our collections are limited editions and collectibles, and some lines are registered with the copyright bureau. Being industry leaders, our chess company boasts a wide range of chess sets and boards. So if you want to buy chess sets, chess pieces, or chess boards, you can rest assured whatever chess set you need, we stock! For a comprehensive product list browse our categories, or if you prefer call us on Telephone - 01948 880 060.
We offer Free Delivery option available at Checkout or- Express next day delivery* at only £5.99 *( UK mainland-order by midday Monday- Friday) What if I miss the delivery? Problem solved with "Convenient Collect" Consumers love the convenience of shopping online, but worries about being at home to receive a delivery can prevent some people from placing an order.
Our service allows you the customer to arrange for goods to be delivered straight to a local Post Office where you can collect at convenience. This is available on Express 24 & free delivery and there is no surcharge for this service.
WHY CHOOSE A STAUNTON CHESS SET
There was a constant demand for a standard model that could be used for all chess pieces due to the increased interest in chess during international and social play in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries. By the turn of the nineteenth century, the variety and styles of the traditional form had increased tremendously. The most popular conventional types during this period were the English Barleycorn and St. George. They were also named after Café de la Regence, Paris, France. Many pieces were tall and easily toppled, making them cumbersome when they were being played with. Their biggest problem was the uniformity among the pieces in a set. Unfamiliarity with a set by an opponent can dramatically alter the outcome of a game. In the early 1900s, it was obvious that a set of pieces with easy-to-use and universally recognized pieces was needed. First released by John Jaques of London in 1849, the game and sport manufacturers of Hatton Garden, London England, the solution was named the Staunton chess sets after Howard Staunton, a Shakespearean scholar and author ( 1810-1874 ).
Origins of a John Jaques Staunton Chess Set
Nathaniel Cook is the creator of this Staunton design however some suggest it could have been created by John Jaques, his brother-in law and the owner of the company. First, it is possible that Mr. Cook used prestigious architectural concepts that were familiar to a growing class of educated and wealthy gentry. London architects were strongly influenced by Roman and Greek culture when they designed prestigious buildings in the Neoclassical style. This style inspired the appearance of the new players of chess. The pieces were symbols of Victorian society, such as a distinguished bishop's mitre, queen's coronet, and the king’s crown. A knight was then carved from the ancient Greek Elgin Marbles as a stallion's skull. The castle is streamlined into classical lines and projects a sense of strength and security. Although the form of the Pawns was based upon the "Freemasons squares and compasses", another theory suggests that the form of the Pawns is derived from the London Victorian balconies. Practical innovations were also unsuccessful: the crown emblem was first stamped on a knight and rook of each side to identify their positions on the king's board.
Another theory is that Jaques, a master turner, was trying to create a design that could be both accepted by players and produced economically. He most likely borrowed elements from existing sets to create a lasting design that was pure brilliance. It was important to use universally recognized symbols on top of conventional stems or bases. The pieces were also compact and well balanced, making it easy to use.
Mass Marketing the Staunton Pattern
Many chess historians believe it was a mixture of both theories, with the collaboration of Mr. Cook, the entrepreneur, and Mr. Jaques, the artisan. Check out our article about Staunton chess design, with some humour! Moving on to the design. To add more stability, the boxwood and ebony sets were weighed with lead, and each piece's underside was covered with felt. The illusion was that the chessmen were floating on the board gave the players the feeling of being in motion. Some ivory sets were made of African ivory. The sizes of the kings ranged from 3.5 to 4.5 inches. Sets were usually packaged in a carton-pierre case with a facsimile Staunton's signature underneath the lid.
Under the guidance of Mr. Howard Staunton, a set of Chessmen has been created that combines elegance and strength to a level never before seen. The principle behind the design of the pieces has been to signify the different pieces by their form. Thus, the crown represents the king and the coronet the queen. It is important to note that the pieces are made with ease of use in mind. The pattern of Mr. Staunton adopts and elevates the traditional form. Because the base of the Pieces is larger than normal sets, it makes them more stable." Illustrated London News September 8, 1849.Staunton was not only the endorser of the product for Jaques of London, but he aggressively promoted it. He even ridiculed and lambasted any other design of pieces. It may have been the first occasion that a famous name was used for commercial promotion of a product. The Staunton, as it was known, became accessible to the public on September 29, 1849. The Staunton style was quickly adopted as the standard for all tournament pieces. Because of its low cost, the Staunton set was affordable and made easy for everyone to buy. This helped to popularize chess.
In 1924, the World Chess Federation approved the Staunton set. They selected it as their choice of chess set to use in future national and international tournaments. This style has been loved by players all over the world for more than a century. Its well-balanced and easily identifiable pieces were the key to its success. It was so successful that it will continue to be the preferred style for tournament play.