The “Staunton” pieces

In 1849, Nathaniel Cook patented the design of standard chess pieces as we know them today. A set of recognizable, elegant and solid pieces are produced by John Jaques, brother-in-law of world chess champion Howard Staunton. At the first production in 1849, Jaques asked Staunton for permission to name the pieces by name and to use his autograph on the box. This allows him to use the reputation of the champion to sell this new set. “Staunton” pieces become the international standard.


© Swiss Museum of Games Collection
Staunton coins, late 19th century.