Sinuous serpents in pewter, taken from a bishop chess piece, coil around a half-pint glass fashioned after that most evocative of the period’s vessels, a drinking horn.
Unearthed on the Isle of Lewis in 1831, in the wilderness of Scotland’s remote Outer Hebrides, the 12th century Lewis chessmen are exquisitely carved in walrus ivory, and very likely of Scandinavian origin. Of the seventy-eight pieces known today, the British Museum’s collection of sixty-seven is one of its most popular attractions..
About the collection
A project with the British Museum, this collaboration draws on the public institution’s vast collection of over 8 million artefacts, documenting the story of human culture from its earliest days to the present. Each piece is marked with the British Museum logotype.