Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How old the game?

Have you ever heard of the Isle of Lewis Chess Pieces?

Picture credits click here: Andrew Dunn

Amazing part of history and tied to knitting by Alice Starmore designs - the Lewis Chessmen slipover from the 1982 book Knitting from the British Islands..

The Lewis Chessmen
Probably made in Norway, about AD 1150-1200 Found on the
Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The chess pieces consist of elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales' teeth in the forms of seated kings and queens, mitred bishops, knights on their mounts, standing warders and pawns in the shape of obelisks.

They were found in the vicinity of Uig on the Isle of Lewis in mysterious circumstances. Various stories have evolved to explain why they were concealed there, and how they were discovered. All that is certain is that they were found some time before 11 April 1831, when they were exhibited at the Society of Antiquaries at Scotland. The precise findspot seems to have been a sand dune where they may have been placed in a small, drystone chamber.
For complete article click here.

More information here: The Lewis Chessmen Collection, The British Museum

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