The Lewis Chessmen

P1090676In 1831 a remarkable hoard of carved walrus ivory was discovered on the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles, Scotland. It included 78 chessmen reflecting medieval Europe.

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Kings with swords on their laps, queens resting their chins in their hands, bishops dressed for Mass, knights on horseback and infantrymen (rooks) on foot. The rooks biting their shields depict fictional heroes of great ferocity known from Norse saga as Berserkers.  (Probably made in Scandinavia, thought to be Norway, about AD 1150-1200 | Found on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland)

Information from the British Museum

Wouldn’t you love to hold one of these pieces in your hand?