Isle of Lewis chessmen hold a mountain of lore and prestige. They hold a place in chess history like no other. To own an Isle of Lewis chess set is to own a piece of classic chess history - where modern chess and ancient chess crossed paths through a story rivaling the best.
Modern day movies such as Harry Potter have taken the Isle of Lewis pieces to new levels of recognition. Isles of Lewis chess pieces are distinctly unique and recognized as they are from centuries old Celtic history.
Here's the story about the discovery of the Isle of Lewis chessmen:
In 1831 the sea carried away a sandbank on the Isle of Lewis uncovering a mysterious building that had been buried under the sand. A peasant working nearby found what he concluded to be a collection of Elves and Gnomes. The superstitious highlander flung down his spade and fled home in horror. Superstition in Lewis had survived in a powerful form. Thus, when the peasant first looked at the group of singular little ivory figures it was natural that they should appear as the pigmy sprites of Celtic folklore. However, he was induced by his wife to return to the spot and take the figures home. He sold them to a local collector who realized they were chess set pieces. There were 78 pieces in all, belonging to eight or more sets; 67 are now in the British Museum and the rest in the National Museum, Edinburgh. Experts are unanimous in regarding them as the most astonishing collection of ancient chess set pieces in existence.
Today you can own a high quality, nicely weighted, solid replica of the famed Isle of Lewis chessmen. It's a chess set that rings true in every collection as a solid piece of chess history.
Even non-chess players can appreciate this wonderful chess gift that is recognized around the world as a relic of chess lore. As modern chess styles have taken off, the Isle of Lewis still remains and always will remain a centerpiece of chess.
Weighted, solid chessmen are crafted with authentic colors and precision. This set is part of the Studio Anne Carlton series, coveted by collectors and decorators. While production is no longer European, we find the quality is impressive and meets our high expectations for a nicely packaged, gift-friendly chess set.
The Lewis Chessmen are made out of Polyresin, which is a crushed stone composite. It has the look and feel of stone, but the durability of a plastic. It is truly the best of both worlds.
- King height: 3 1/2"
- King base: 1 1/2"
- Pieces only. Board not included.