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Product ID: 35IL
Isle of Lewis Themed Chessmen
Isle of Lewis Themed Chessmen

Own a faithful reproduction of the earliest known European chess set! This Isle of Lewis chess set is a genuine replica of the world famous Isle of Lewis chess pieces on display in the British Museum. Because of the direct involvement of the British Museum in developing the molds for these chessmen, we believe this is the closest reproduction of the historic Lewis chessmen available today. Originally discovered on the Isle of Lewis around 1170, they are of Scandinavian origin.

The Isle of Lewis chess pieces in Chocolate Brown have an antique ivory finish. The King is 3.5" tall. This set is made from a composite of crushed stone and resin, which makes for the look and feel of stone, while exhibiting the durability of a composite.

Although unknown for sure, they were probably made in Norway, about AD 1150- 1200. At this period, the Western Isles, where the chess pieces were buried, were part of the Kingdom of Norway, not Scotland. It seems likely they were buried for safe keeping on route to be traded in Ireland.

The chess pieces 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.

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. The chess pieces consist 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.

We have seen several sets like these on the market. We particularly like ours because of the strong details which can be lost when pieces are cast in worn molds. A close look at the facial expression, eyes and even the pawns in our set shows a lot of clear detail and expression. 

King Height: 3.5 inches
King Base: 1.75 inches
Recommended Board Square Size: 2.25 inches



List Price: $199.00

You save $50.00
Price: $149.00
194.15 CAD 132.22 EUR 118.83 GBP
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