Lewis Chessmen
Photo © Holly Hayes / Art History Images. All rights reserved.

Lewis Chessmen

Some of the Lewis Chessmen (c. 1200) at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. The most famous collection of artifacts discovered in Scotland, the Lewis Chessmen were found buried on the Ilse of Lewis in 1860. They are believed to be Scandinavian in origin, perhaps made in Trondheim and intended for trade in Ireland. There are 93 gaming pieces in all, including many charming figures with highly expressive and comical faces. Eleven of the chessmen reside at the National Museum of Scotland; the remaining 82 are at the British Museum.