The NorseAmerica miniature Viking Isle of Lewis Chess set is a high quality replica of authentic 900-year-old chess pieces. The Lewis chessmen are the most famous chess pieces in history. In every way possible, this quality replica is designed to maintain the integrity of the hand-carved walrus-tusk originals. Made in from a crushed-stone and polyester-resin compound, these chess pieces look and feel like the ancient set. The pieces measure between 1 1/4” and 1 3/4” tall, and the pawns are 7/8” tall. The game board measures 8” in diameter, and is adorned with highly decorative historical art. It is also both a combination board game and storage case. Whether using the pieces to play Chess, or to simply display in your home or office, they will be cherished by your family for generations!
These NorseAmerica chessmen are miniature reproductions of the 12th-century originals found by a farmer in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis, in the Hebrides, northwest of Scotland. The original Lewis pieces, which now reside in the British Museum, are regarded by experts as the most exquisite collection of ancient chessmen in existence.
The possible fate of an ancient Norwegian merchant ship has brought us new insight into the European Middle Ages. The Lewis chessmen were probably made between the years 1100-1130 AD. During that time the Outer Hebrides were part of the Norwegian Kingdom. It is therefore, believed that the chessmen are of Norwegian origin. A chess piece depicting a queen, nearly identical to the Lewis pieces, has been found in Trondheim, the Medieval capital of Norway. The ornaments on the back of some of the figures relate to carvings in the Nidaros Cathedral, the center of Norway's church in Trondheim. The style was typical of this region in the Middle Ages. There were a lot of walrus teeth in the city at that time, since taxes were often paid for in goods such as these. Historians believe that the chess pieces were carved in one of the workshops connected to the Cathedral.
If you like this item, then you may be interested in other Lewis Chessmen products imported exclusively and sold by NorseAmerica such as our full scale Lewis chess set that is cast directly from the orginal chess pieces from the 12th-century, our Lewis book-ends and key chains.