The Lewis or Uig Chessmen
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Author:  Barbra Voltaire, FGG [ Mon May 14, 2012 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  The Lewis or Uig Chessmen

One of the speakers at the Scottish Gemmological Conference was Maggie Campbell Pedersen who gave a wonderfully insightful talk on Ivories.
One of the highlights for me was discovering information on the Lewis or Uig Chessmen.
Certainly, the mere fact that these chess pieces were made in 900 years is in itself impressive, but the characterization and stylization of the individual pieces is wondrous and curious at the same time. (Note that a replica of this chess set is used by Harry Potter at Hogwarts)
They were discovered in 1831 in a dry stone chamber on at the beach at Uig, located on the western coast of the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland and the Chessmen are currently on display at The British Museum and the National Museum of Scotland.

Author:  gemsmithuk [ Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Lewis or Uig Chessmen

I made plaster cast versions of this as a kid. It was only a couple of years ago that I learnt what it was all about.

Author:  davegibson [ Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Lewis or Uig Chessmen

Neal MacGregor director of the British Museum as been on BBC radio every morning covering a history of the world in 100 objects,
of course the Lews Chessmen was one of them
Like the way Neal MacGregor is running things at the British Museum =D>
It was established in 1753 as a museum for the World and as always been free :)

Author:  Barbra Voltaire, FGG [ Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Lewis or Uig Chessmen

Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN wrote:
Lost Lewis Chessman worth over $1 million found in drawer
When an antiques dealer in Scotland bought an ivory chessman for £5 ($6) in 1964, he probably had no inkling that he had taken possession of one of the most famous chess pieces in the world.
Stored in a drawer for 55 years, the Lewis Warder, as the piece is known, could now fetch up to £1 million ($1.3 million) at auction after the late owner's family took it to Sotheby's auction house in London for assessment.
The Lewis Chessmen were found on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides in 1831, but the circumstances of their discovery are shrouded in mystery. With 93 pieces found -- the majority carved from walrus ivory -- the set was missing one knight and four "warders."
The leading theory about their origin is that they were carved between the late 12th and early 13th centuries in Trondheim, Norway, Sotheby's said in a press release.

Of the 93 pieces discovered in 1831, 82 are in the British Museum in London while 11 are in the collection of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The new discovery is a 3.5-inch warder, a bearded figure with a sword in his right hand and shield at his left side. In modern chess it would be the equivalent of a rook. It will be auctioned at Sotheby's London on July 2, the first time any of the Lewis Chessmen has been auctioned.
A spokesperson for the family, which wishes to remain anonymous, said in a statement that the warder was cataloged in the antiques dealer's purchase ledger as "Antique Walrus Tusk Warrior Chessman."
"From this description it can be assumed that he was unaware he had purchased an important historic artifact," the spokesperson said. "It was stored away in his home and then when my grandfather died my mother inherited the chess piece."
"My mother was very fond of the Chessman as she admired its intricacy and quirkiness. She believed that it was special and thought perhaps it could even have had some magical significance."
"For many years it resided in a drawer in her home where it had been carefully wrapped in a small bag. From time to time, she would remove the chess piece from the drawer in order to appreciate its uniqueness."
The Lewis Chessmen are "steeped in folklore, legend and the rich tradition of story-telling," Sotheby's said in a press release, adding that they are "an important symbol of European civilisation."

Alexander Kader, the Sotheby's expert who assessed the piece for the family, told CNN that seeing the chessman for the first time was a "delightful surprise."
"I said, 'Oh my goodness, it's one of the Lewis Chessmen,'" he recalled. "The family knew they had something special, but they were quite amazed."
"The new Lewis Warder has been on a remarkable journey to get where he is today," Kader said. "Over the last year we conducted a thorough study of him, undertaking many months of detailed research, art historical analysis, research into physical condition and provenance, and careful comparison with the other Lewis Chessmen."
In a press release, Kader said: "There is certainly more to the story of this warder still to be told, about his life over the last 188 years since he was separated from his fellow chessmen, and just as interesting, about the next chapter in his journey now that he has been rediscovered."

Author:  Stephen Challener [ Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Lewis or Uig Chessmen

Wowza! It's amazing to think that something like that could resurface after all this time. I hope they've done their due diligence five times over though.

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