• STV
  • MySTV

Check mate: Lewis chessmen in Aberdeen

The Lewis chessmen have gone on display in Aberdeen as part of their tour of Scotland.

Lewis Chessmen: on display in Aberdeen
© STV

The collection of 12th Century ivory figurines are arguably the most significant archaeological find ever made in Scotland.

They were discovered on Lewis in 1831 and will go on display in Stornoway after a stop in Shetland next year.

‘The Lewis Chessmen: Unmasked’ is the most comprehensive exhibition on the Lewis chessmen featuring chessmen drawn from the collections of National Museums Scotland and the British Museum.

The touring exhibition looks at the mystery and intrigue surrounding the chessmen, explores the stories surrounding their discovery and shows how the characters reflected society at the time they were made.

It draws upon new research by National Museums Scotland on their craftsmanship, origins and historical context to provide visitors with a new and vibrant perspective.

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of the National Museums in Scotland said: "We are delighted to be touring the Lewis Chessmen to Aberdeen Art Gallery following a highly successful exhibition run in Edinburgh. These iconic objects have a special place in the public imagination, and we are pleased that our partnership with the British Museum has enabled this significant tour. We are grateful for support from the Scottish Government."

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said: "This tour provides a wonderful opportunity for these extraordinary objects, which are of European and worldwide significance, to be seen by audiences across Scotland.

“The British Museum has a long standing relationship with National Museums Scotland and is very pleased to continue this partnership, and we are grateful to the Scottish government for their support which has enabled the tour to become a reality."

The Lewis Chessmen were discovered on the western shore of the Isle of Lewis in 1831, as part of a hoard of walrus ivory. The hoard includes assembled pieces made of walrus ivory from at least four chess-sets, probably made in Norway in the late 12th or early 13th century.

As the largest and finest group of early chessmen to survive, they are one of the most significant archaeological discoveries ever made in Scotland and are of major international importance.

Few chessmen survive at all from the Middle Ages, and these are unparalleled in their high-quality, humour and intricacy of design. The majority of chess pieces were acquired by the British Museum in 1831, in order to preserve the hoard as intact as possible in a public collection.

They have been on permanent display ever since. Eleven pieces remained in Scotland and have been on display for many years - the last ten in a prime position in the National Museum of Scotland.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.