The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked
Precious Historic Objects Return Home
The Lewis Chessmen project originated from the National Museums of Scotland and The British Museum’s UK partnership programme, creating a touring exhibition which reached out to Aberdeen and the islands of Shetland and Lewis in 2011.
The Lewis Chessmen are chess pieces crafted using elaborately worked walrus ivory and whales' teeth in the forms of seated kings and queens, mitred bishops, knights on their mounts, standing warders and pawns in the shape of obelisks. They were found in the vicinity of Uig on the Isle of Lewis in mysterious circumstances.
The touring exhibition aimed to explore the mystery and intrigue surrounding the chessmen, to consider the stories surrounding their discovery, and to demonstrate how the characters reflected society at the time when they were made.
Comments received, on top of the astounding volume of visitors to the exhibition would suggest that the Lewis Chessmen project was a great success.
We selected TESS Evolution showcases to exhibit the chess pieces whilst they were here with us in Aberdeen Art Gallery, because they meet the required standards for both national and international loans.
Exhibitions Manager, Aberdeen Art Gallery