Klikk for norsk

A to take home

SELECT PRODUCT

Home page

Viking jewelry from Kaupang

The Lewis Chessmen

Roman doll 150 AD

Byzantine medallion

The Viking Game

Fridge Magnets

"Viking Raiders" mouse pad

The Oseberg tapestry

Viking puzzle

Runes

Oseberg salad set

"Hitra King" chess piece

Venus from Svinesund

Hedalen Madonna

Contemporary art

Where to purchase

About MEMORY

The Lewis Chessmen

Norwegian art from 1100 AD

Click the picture
to enlarge

The Lewis chessmen were probably made from walrus tusks about 1150 AD. Experts are unanimous in regarding the find as the most astonishing collection of ancient chessmen in existence. The collection is on display in the British Museum as one of the museum's highlights.

They were found on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides west of Scotland in 1831, from this the name "Lewis Chessmen". The Hebrides were, during the 12th century, part of the Norwegian Kingdom. The ornaments on the back of the figures relate to certain sculptures found in western Norway. A queen nearly identical to the Lewis pieces has been found in the Norwegian town of Trondheim, and recently a king similar to the Lewis king was found on an island west of Trondheim. It is, therefore, believed the chessmen originate from a Norwegian art workshop, possibly in Trondheim.

The Viking merchants brought walrus ivory from Greenland to Norway, then marketed the finished goods in the British Isles. The Vikings were certainly more than raiders, they were ingenious craftsmen and travelling merchants as well. Traces of them were found on the Isle of Lewis in 1831.


Complete Lewis chess set in true size

The set consists of 32 replicas of the original Lewis chessmen:
King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook (functions as tower), and Pawns (like rune stones), all together 16 white and 16 brown pieces.

Included in the set is a textile chess board, 45 x 45 cm.

Single chessmen are also available, and a British Museum book  which describes the Isle of Lewis find, how it was found, its origin and historical and artistic importance.

 

Lewis mini chess set

Reduced size chess pieces, height about 3 - 4 cm. Contained in a sturdy box in colors of ivory or brown. The box lid is designed as chess board. The box is about 20 cm in diameter.

Keyrings

Lewis nøkkelringer with a chain. Reduced size of a knight and a rook, approx. 5 cm high.