Premium Lewis Chess set

    SKU: cmcr38000

    £575.00 Members' price *


    A stunning Lewis Chessmen set, includes a wooden board with a veneer finish and decorative lasering.

    This premium Lewis Chess set has a high quality wooden board, and is an authentic replica of one of the British Museum's most iconic pieces.

    Each chess piece is a true-to-size reproduction of the 12th century, hand- crafted originals, which consisted of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales' teeth in the forms of seated kings and queens, bishops, knights on their mounts, standing warders and pawns in the shape of obelisks.

    A remarkable home ornament or gift.

    About the Originals

    The Lewis Chessmen form a remarkable group of iconic objects within the world collection of the British Museum. They were probably made in Norway, about AD 1150-1200. At this period, the Western Isles, where the chessmen were buried, were part of the Kingdom of Norway, not Scotland. It is possible that they belonged to a merchant travelling from Norway and that they were buried for safe- keeping on route to be traded in Ireland. This seems likely since there are enough pieces - though with some elements missing – to make four sets.

    No exact account of the discovery remains, but they apparently came to light after the collapse of a sand- bank on the coast of the island revealed their hiding place to a passing islander.

    The chessmen testify to the strong cultural and political connections between Britain and Scandinavia in the Middle Ages, and to the growing popularity within Europe of the game of chess, the origins of which lie in ancient India.

    93 pieces from the hoard are known today. They date from the mid to late 12th century, and the style of carving, especially the intricate interlocking animal and floral designs on the thrones of the seated figures, indicate that they are of Scandinavian workmanship; however, their exact origin is not certain and they may have been made in Britain by a craftsman skilled in this style of Viking art. The British Museum bought 67 of the chessmen towards the end of 1831. The Museum now owns 82 of the 93 pieces.

    Discover more about the Lewis Chess pieces here.


    Product code: cmcr38000
    Gift recipient: For him
    Materials: Resin pieces measuring between 4-10 cm, wooden board with a veneer finish and decorative lasering.
    Details: Set comes with a copy of the Objects in Focus Book: Lewis Chessmen
    Size: Board size: width 56cm, length 56cm, height 7cm. King is 10 cm high
    Weight: 6.13kg
    Standard UK delivery: 5 working days. Overseas times may vary

    This price is inclusive of VAT

    Every purchase supports the Museum

    Delivery & returns

    Delivery charges: are calculated depending on the weight (kg) and destination of the order. The order total is displayed on the payment page before you confirm your order.

    Estimated Delivery times:
    UK and Europe: 5 - 14 working days.
    Rest of the world: 10 to 28 working days.

    Premium delivery: is available at the checkout for UK addresses only.

    For more information, please see our full Delivery policy here

    If for any reason you are not entirely happy with books and other products purchased from the shop, we will refund the value of the goods supplied. Please contact Customer Services directly on 0800 218 2222 (or from abroad on +44 (0)20 7079 0970) for individual advice.

    Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges on pierced earrings for hygiene reasons, unless they are faulty.

    For more information, please see our full Returns policy here