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REF1261 Wimbledon club house set & Board
Circa 1930

Fine ebony & boxwood Jaques club chess set & Jaques board, both were the Wimbledon club house set in the 1930’s and onwards.

Jaques ebony & boxwood weighted club size set with original mahogany box and label. Circa 1930

Kings 10 CM

Jaques mahogany framed chess board with gold letter label ” Jaques London ” Circa 1930.

Board 56 cm x 56 cm   Squares 6 cm

These historic Jaques sets all come with signed authors copy of the Jaques collectors guide and insurance valuation.

This set has a chipped ear on the kingside ebony knight , there is a great historic reason for this please read the last owner Mr Cherry’s historic notes on the set.

“”The set was originally purchased by the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club)  and housed in the members lounge where it survived a near miss during world war two when at 5:20 p.m. on October 11, 1940, a Junkers 88 dropped five 500 pound bombs one of which struck the grounds, demolishing 1,200 seats in the Centre Court and the blast blew the all windows in which is when the Black Kings Knight lost the chip out of his ear.

Sometime after the war ended ownership of the set passed to my family when my father was given the set in the early 1960’s by the then Club Secretary or Assistant Secretary which was either Major David Mills or Lt Colonel Macaulay when the latter took over from the former. My understanding is that this was by way of a ‘thank you’ for an annual task my father had done for the club – further comment below.

As a  boy my father had lived in both the Lodge and No 1. Cottage in the grounds – my grandmother having lived and worked as the Steward at the club for nigh on 60 years not retiring until well into her 80’s.

The Lodge is still there but the cottage alas was demolished some years ago.

 My father’s relationship with the club continued up until his death in 2013 as he still used his skills as a calligrapher to hand script the annual heading page of the VIP visitors book in readiness for the Wimbledon fortnight. It made fascinating reading seeing all the signatures of Kings, Queens, Emperors and household name celebs – allegedly some were quite miffed when not asked to sign it –it was strictly by invitation only.

 As lads, both my father and I were employed as ball boys – albeit 25 years apart for club matches. I reached the dizzy heights of Head Ball boy the year I left school and the rest is history.

 My grandmother had one particular moment of glory and is mentioned by name in “The book of tennis” – an American review of this book commented thus:

 “We stopped next at King George V, who inadvertently locked himself in a bathroom on the day of a Wimbledon final. He was rescued by one Mrs. Rosie Cherry, who heard the king`s cries and busted the offending door down with her shoulder”. The English version is written more appropriately but the sentiment is spot on!

 I can clearly remember playing with the chess set as a boy but the prior history is by recalling first hand comments made by my father over the years. I still remember all the personalities mentioned though.””


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Tim Millard is one of the leading specialist dealers buying & selling Chess Sets & Backgammon boards with an extensive stock of antique sets ranging from fine Staunton sets by Jaques to fine European, Chinese & Indian Sets.

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