The Lewis Chess Pieces

Quite possibly the most famous chess pieces in the world, the Lewis Chess Pieces were discovered on the Isle of Lewis, off the coast of northwest Scotland, around 1831. While their origins are uncertain, it’s clear that they were fashioned by an extremely talented artisan or artisans. The 78 Lewis Chess Pieces are considered masterpieces because of their incredible attention to detail and the individual personality imbued in each piece. Learn more about these objects and a brief history of chess with Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum in London.

Cite this page as: Bank of America, "The Lewis Chess Pieces," in Smarthistory, January 31, 2022, accessed October 5, 2022,