13 February 2022

From Norway to the British Museum

The Lewis chess pieces are a recurring theme on this blog. From the oldest post where they were featured...

...to the most recent...

  • 2019-06-06: Carving Walrus Ivory; 'I've often wondered whether the Lewis pieces were indeed chess pieces.'

...they manage to be both old and new at the same time. This video is from a series called Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moment.

Lewis Chess Pieces (7:41) • '[Published on] Jan 25, 2022'

The description says,

Quite possibly the most famous chess pieces in the world, the Lewis Chess Pieces were discovered on the Isle of Lewis, off the coast of northwest Scotland, around 1831. While their origins are uncertain, it’s clear that they were fashioned by an extremely talented artisan or artisans. The 78 Lewis Chess Pieces are considered masterpieces because of their incredible attention to detail and the individual personality imbued in each piece. Learn more about these objects and a brief history of chess with Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum in London.

A page of credits near the end of the video mentions,

The Lewis Chess Pieces, probably made in Norway, about 1150-1200 • Found on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland • Walrus ivory and whale tooth

And they call the Rooks 'Berserkers'!

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