ANTIQUE DE-LUXE 8-HORSE, ASCOT HORSE RACING GAME BY JAQUES C 1880
A superb example of the de-luxe version that Jaques made of their 8-horse version of the Ascot Horse Racing table game.
Jaques made these over the years in a variety of woods - pine, oak, mahogany etc. and in different sizes - even for for the same number of horses in the set. The sets varied from 4 - 8 horses and from mechanical (the normal) to clockwork.
This example is the best of the mechanical 8-horse mahogany range. The size of the horses and jockeys is the biggest they did and has the most detailed coloured painting of the silks and horses No doubt they sourced their horses/jockeys from Britains (famous for their soldier figures etc), but the invention and box design and construction was all theirs.
The idea for all the Ascots is the same. Each horse/jockey has the same length thread threaded on to the metal spindle and out through the hole in the front of the box. When ready to play, the box is placed on a wooden floor and the horses are taken (usually sitting on an inner lid or in this case in their individual stalls) so that the threads unspool to their full length. All horses are standing parallel and the race is ready to begin. As the handle on the box is wound the horses jockey for position and the first nose to touch the box is the winner. It is random and a different one wins each time. So place your bets and..... they're off!!