The Lewis Chessmen and What Happened to Them

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<p>A charming and original illustrated story for children, following the adventures of the world’s most famous chessmen.<br /> <br /> The Lewis Chessmen were found on the Isle of Lewis in mysterious circumstances. They consist of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales’ teeth in the form of seated kings and queens, bishops, knights, warders and pawns. Dated to the 11th century, this curious chess set is strongly influenced by Norse culture. <br /> <br /> Of the 93 pieces known to us today, 11 pieces are in Edinburgh at the National Museum of Scotland, and 82 are in the British Museum, where they have delighted generations of visitors with their wonderfully expressive details. <br /> <br /> In this engaging story Irving Finkel - a curator at the British Museum - follows the many adventures of the chessmen after they came to light on a Scottish beach in the nineteenth century. It ends with the big surprise that befell them in September 1993, when they were all temporarily reunited for the first time since their separation at a special exhibition of chessmen at the British Museum.<br /> <br /> Aimed primarily at children aged 9- 11, this title engages children with Museum objects and history, but the story will also appeal to adults. <br /> <br /> <strong>Author</strong><br /> <br /> <strong>Irving Finkel</strong> is Assistant Keeper of ancient Mesopotamian scripts, languages and cultures at the British Museum. Irving specializes in cuneiform inscriptions, and ancient Mesopotamian medicine and magic and is also dedicated to working with children and adults to promote familiarity with the museum’s collection.</p>

Exclusive to the British Museum, a charming and original illustrated story for children, following the adventures of the Lewis Chessmen.

In this engaging story Irving Finkel follows the many adventures of the chessmen after they came to light on a Scottish beach in the nineteenth century. 

About the Lewis Chessmen:

The Lewis Chessmen consist of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales’ teeth in the forms of seated kings and queens, mitred bishops, knights on their mounts, standing warders and pawns in the shape of obelisks. They were found in the vicinity of Uig on the Isle of Lewis, but were probably made in Norway, in around 1150-1200 AD. At this time, the Western Isles where the Chessmen were buried were part of the kingdom of Norway, and not Scotland as they are today.

Although very few details of the origins of the Chessmen are known, it is possible that they belonged to a merchant travelling from Norway and that they were buried for safekeeping on route to be traded in Ireland. This seems likely as 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. All that is certain is that they were found some time before 11th April 1831 when they were exhibited at the Society of the Antiquaries in Scotland.

Of the original 93 pieces discovered on the Isle of Lewis, 82 pieces are now housed in the British Museum.

Aimed primarily at children aged 9-11, this title engages children with Museum objects and history.

About the author:

Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper of ancient Mesopotamian scripts, languages and cultures at the British Museum. Irving specializes in cuneiform inscriptions, and ancient Mesopotamian medicine and magic and is also dedicated to working with children and adults to promote familiarity with the Museum’s collection.

  • Product Code: CMC23240
  • Product Weight: 0.14Kg
  • Theme: The Lewis Chessmen
  • Author: Irving Finkel
  • Pages: 48 pages
  • Format: Paperback
  • T.P: 2.99
  • Dimensions: H23.7 x L16.9cm
  • Illustrations: 40 black and white illustrations
  • Postage Weight: 0.85 Kg

<p>A charming and original illustrated story for children, following the adventures of the world’s most famous chessmen.<br /> <br /> The Lewis Chessmen were found on the Isle of Lewis in mysterious circumstances. They consist of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales’ teeth in the form of seated kings and queens, bishops, knights, warders and pawns. Dated to the 11th century, this curious chess set is strongly influenced by Norse culture. <br /> <br /> Of the 93 pieces known to us today, 11 pieces are in Edinburgh at the National Museum of Scotland, and 82 are in the British Museum, where they have delighted generations of visitors with their wonderfully expressive details. <br /> <br /> In this engaging story Irving Finkel - a curator at the British Museum - follows the many adventures of the chessmen after they came to light on a Scottish beach in the nineteenth century. It ends with the big surprise that befell them in September 1993, when they were all temporarily reunited for the first time since their separation at a special exhibition of chessmen at the British Museum.<br /> <br /> Aimed primarily at children aged 9- 11, this title engages children with Museum objects and history, but the story will also appeal to adults. <br /> <br /> <strong>Author</strong><br /> <br /> <strong>Irving Finkel</strong> is Assistant Keeper of ancient Mesopotamian scripts, languages and cultures at the British Museum. Irving specializes in cuneiform inscriptions, and ancient Mesopotamian medicine and magic and is also dedicated to working with children and adults to promote familiarity with the museum’s collection.</p>

Exclusive to the British Museum, a charming and original illustrated story for children, following the adventures of the Lewis Chessmen.

In this engaging story Irving Finkel follows the many adventures of the chessmen after they came to light on a Scottish beach in the nineteenth century. 

About the Lewis Chessmen:

The Lewis Chessmen consist of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales’ teeth in the forms of seated kings and queens, mitred bishops, knights on their mounts, standing warders and pawns in the shape of obelisks. They were found in the vicinity of Uig on the Isle of Lewis, but were probably made in Norway, in around 1150-1200 AD. At this time, the Western Isles where the Chessmen were buried were part of the kingdom of Norway, and not Scotland as they are today.

Although very few details of the origins of the Chessmen are known, it is possible that they belonged to a merchant travelling from Norway and that they were buried for safekeeping on route to be traded in Ireland. This seems likely as 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. All that is certain is that they were found some time before 11th April 1831 when they were exhibited at the Society of the Antiquaries in Scotland.

Of the original 93 pieces discovered on the Isle of Lewis, 82 pieces are now housed in the British Museum.

Aimed primarily at children aged 9-11, this title engages children with Museum objects and history.

About the author:

Irving Finkel is Assistant Keeper of ancient Mesopotamian scripts, languages and cultures at the British Museum. Irving specializes in cuneiform inscriptions, and ancient Mesopotamian medicine and magic and is also dedicated to working with children and adults to promote familiarity with the Museum’s collection.

  • Product Code: CMC23240
  • Product Weight: 0.14Kg
  • Theme: The Lewis Chessmen
  • Author: Irving Finkel
  • Pages: 48 pages
  • Format: Paperback
  • T.P: 2.99
  • Dimensions: H23.7 x L16.9cm
  • Illustrations: 40 black and white illustrations
  • Postage Weight: 0.85 Kg
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