Lewis Chessman Piece Could Fetch $1.26 Million


A chess piece purchased for a few pounds (dollars) by an antiques dealer in Scotland in 1964 can now be sold for $1.26 million at auction July 2 in the London.
Identified as one of the 900-year-old Lewis Chessmen, among the greatest artifacts of the Viking era, this chess piece is in the form of Norse warriors, carved from walrus ivory in the 12th century.
“They brought it in for assessment,” says Sotheby’s expert Alexander Kader of the day the family unveiled the precious 3.5-inch, walrus ivory piece.
When he realized what the figurine was upon closer examination Kader said his “jaw dropped” — even after seeing its condition.

Lewis Chessman Piece

“It’s a little bashed up,” he says. “It has lost its left eye — but that kind of weather-beaten, weary warrior added to its charm.”
A hoard of 93 pieces was discovered in 1831 on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis. It is now held in both the British Museum in London and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh — but five of the chess pieces were missing.
The piece to be auctioned, the equivalent of a rook, is the first of the missing chessmen to be identified. It was passed down to the family of the antiques dealer, who did not realize its significance.

Lewis Chessman Piece

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