Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: six individual pieces from front on white background - light side
Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: six individual pieces from front on white background - light side
Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: six individual pieces from front on white background - dark side
Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: six individual pieces from back on white background - light side
Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: six individual pieces from back on white background - dark side
Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: full light side (16 pieces) laid out for play on board
Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: full dark side (16 pieces) laid out for play on board
Isle of Lewis chess set, antique finish: full set (32 pieces) laid out for play on board

Isle of Lewis chess set

£95.00 GBP

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. We recommend playing these pieces on a 20" board.

Key figures:

  • 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Originally made from elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales'  teeth, modern-day pieces are now cold-cast and stained to give an antique finish, the two sides to the set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 in Somerset.