Jaques of London

Coordinates: 51°12′23.97″N 0°3′45.12″E / 51.2066583°N 0.0625333°E / 51.2066583; 0.0625333
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jaques of London, formerly known as John Jaques of London and Jaques and Son of London is a long-established family company that manufactures sports and game equipment.


Dating itself from 1795 when Thomas Jaques, a farmer's son of French Huguenot descent, set up as a "Manufacturer of Ivory, Hardwoods, Bone, and Tunbridge Ware",[1] the company gained a reputation for publishing games under his grandson John Jaques the younger.

The popularity of chess during World War II helped MI9 hide items in chess games sent to British and American prisoners of war, because the chess sets were made of wood, especially the Staunton chess sets by Jaques of London. The inside walls of the chess pieces box were hollowed out "...to secrete maps, currency, documents, hacksaw blades and swinger compasses." The large chess boards were perfect for supplying to prisoners "...counterfeit documents, maps, currency and other contraband." The chess pieces themselves were hollowed out and used to hold messages, compasses, maps and dye to help turn uniforms into civilian attire. The base of the piece was often screwed in with a left turn screw, so any attempt to unscrew the base normally would only make it tighter.[2]

The company moved its offices and showroom to Edenbridge, Kent, in 2000.[3]

Staunton chessmen[edit]

Staunton chess set designed by Nathaniel Cooke for Jaques of London, 1849.

The Staunton chess set was released in 1849 by Jaques of London of Hatton Garden in London. The pieces were designed to be easy to use and universally recognized by chess players of diverse backgrounds. It became known as the Staunton chess set after Howard Staunton (1810–1874), the chess player and writer who was generally considered the strongest player in the world from 1843–1851. Nathaniel Cooke has long been credited with the design.[clarification needed]


A Jaques and Son Parcheesi/Ludo board

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Oldest Sports and Games Manufacturer in the World". Jaques of London.
  2. ^ Froom, Phil. Evasion and Escape Devices: Produced by MI9, MIS-X and SOE in World War II. 2015. Pages 281-283.
  3. ^ "Contact Us | Customer Services". Jaques of London.
  4. ^ A Jaques set was used by Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in the 1972 World Chess Championship (Edmonds & Eidinow 2004:163).
  5. ^ Berkeley, Authorized by Lewis Waterman (1890). Reversi and Go Bang. Frederick A. Stokes Company.
  6. ^ "Golf Games Rules". Jaques. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Jaques' Happy Families" Archived 2011-08-12 at the Wayback Machine.


External links[edit]

51°12′23.97″N 0°3′45.12″E / 51.2066583°N 0.0625333°E / 51.2066583; 0.0625333