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Isle of Lewis Chess Men

The Isle of Lewis Chess set is fondly known as ‘Scotland’s Hidden Secret’. Though most of their history has been lost in the depths of time, we do know that they date from the 12th or 13th century. The romance of the mystery of its discovery on a remote beach, perhaps near Uig on the Isle of Lewis, is loved by Scots and further adds to this land of mist, myths and legend. Is it true that they were found in a sandbank by a farmer who mistook the pieces for elves and promptly fled, then returning to retrieve them only due to his wife’s urging? Historians believe the pieces were probably made in Norway about AD 1150-1200. The Western Isles at this time were part of the Kingdom of Norway, not Scotland. The belief is that the pieces were buried for safekeeping on route to be traded in Ireland. The plot thickens…

Available in Red & Ivory, Brown & Ivory and Copper & Pewter

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