Medium Lewis chess set game

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A hand-made high quality chess set, inspired by the Lewis Chessmen.

The Lewis Chessmen are part of a hoard of walrus ivory and whales' teeth carvings found on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland on or before 1831. The origins of the Chessmen are shrouded in mystery, it is believed that they were carved around 1150-1200 possibly in Trondheim, Norway. Seventy-eight chess pieces have survived, sixty- seven of which are at the British Museum and eleven at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

A remarkable home ornament or gift.

About the Original

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.

  • Product Code: CMCN497270
  • Dimension: pieces are approx 4cm x 8cm, board size is 37cm x 37cm
  • SUBTITLE: British Museum
  • Material: Board and pieces: resin
  • Details: Includes 32 pieces, storage box for pieces and board.
  • Weight: 1.50 Kg

A hand-made high quality chess set, inspired by the Lewis Chessmen.

The Lewis Chessmen are part of a hoard of walrus ivory and whales' teeth carvings found on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland on or before 1831. The origins of the Chessmen are shrouded in mystery, it is believed that they were carved around 1150-1200 possibly in Trondheim, Norway. Seventy-eight chess pieces have survived, sixty- seven of which are at the British Museum and eleven at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.

A remarkable home ornament or gift.

About the Original

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.

  • Product Code: CMCN497270
  • Weight: 1.50 Kg