Isle of Lewis chess pieces
These chess pieces are taken exactly from the originals in the British Museum, which were discovered on the Isle of Lewis in the last century and are thought to be between 900 and 1000 years old.
- King: With four pigtails, the king sits on a simple carved chair (4" tall)
- Queen: Also known as the 'grumpy Queen' from the expression on her face, she also sits on a simple carved chair
- Bishop: One giving a blessing, holds a staff and sits on a single carved panel chair. The other stands, holding a staff and psalter
- Knight: Mounted knights, both have swords and shields. One has a coned helmet, the other rounded
- Castle: Not the later tower-type, but rather warders (or prison guards). One has his shield infront, the other in his left hand
- Pawn: One is made in an eight sided bullet shape, the other a Celtic knotwork inscribed lozenge
Originally made from elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales' teeth, modern-day pieces are now cold-cast and stained to give an antique finish, the two sides to the set differentiated by an ebony/ivory colour.
Antique finish only, made from cold-cast powdered marble and resin in Somerset.
We have pictured this set on an 18" Oriel board (sold separately).