The Famous Lewis Chessmen
Our range contains the best sets of Lewis chess pieces available, While the originals are of course priceless and unlikely to become available for you to buy we have faithful reproductions available from just £50. Included in our range is the official National Museum boxed set, these versions have been faithfully reproduced from laser scans of the original pieces and are without doubt the best set available today – true replicas of the original pieces.
Lewis Chessmen, The UK's Best Selection
These are without doubt one of the most iconic sets of chess pieces in the world today. These unique chessmen come with an exciting and interesting story attached to them and remain the source of much of debate.
On a fateful day in 1831 a resident of the Isle of Lewis discovered that a sand bank had collapsed, revealing a large chest of buried treasure. Inside the chest were ninety-three carved chess pieces that are today known as the isle of Lewis chessmen. The haul contained what are believed to be pieces from five different chess sets – sixteen kings & queens, fifteen bishops, fifteen, knights on horse back, twelve castles and nineteen pawns. One of the most loved quirks of these pieces are the expressions on the faces of the characters – the queens, knights and rooks have almost comical looks on their faces.
It is thought that these amazing pieces were hand carved in Norway from whales teeth and walrus ivory around 1150 AD and remained buried for hundreds of years after they were either lost or hidden. Some have speculated that the pieces may have been lost whilst sailing from Norway to Viking settlements in Ireland.
You can now buy faithful reproductions of these beautiful chess pieces and own a unique piece of history. If you are looking to buy the Lewis chessmen you might have a job persuading the British Museum to part with them. If however you are prepared to settle for some reproductions then we have the best little selection available.
Where are they today?
Today the majority of the pieces are stored, and are on display, in the British Museum in London. Some are on loan to museums in Scotland and others are often loaned to temporary exhibitions, for people to view and experience the beauty of these exquisite pieces. Over recent years there has been an ongoing debate between Edinburgh and London, with many people arguing that the Lewis chessmen should rightfully be housed in the National Museum of Scotland.
We stock what we consider to be the three best sets available in the UK today. Among our range is the official museum set which was created using laser scans of the original pieces. This fine set is made in England and presented in stunning gifted packaging. We also offer the superb quality Studio Anne Carlton pieces which are widely considered to be the most popular Lewis chessmen available.
As well as complete sets we also sell individual pieces; so that you can own and display a piece of history at home. The individual pieces we sell are the full-scale national museum replicas – including Kings, queens, knights, bishops and rooks.