Help me identify family heirloom chess piece.

superchessmachine
Youarereallyquitebad wrote:

@forked_again you are aware that all the evidence suggests these pieces weren't used for chess at all. It was a clever marketing ploy.

[Taken aback]

GWTR
forked_again wrote:

....

 

I have no affiliation with them other than I bought my set from them and appreciate the quality and service.  Fascinating history.  The originals (something like 79 pieces found from presumably 4 different incomplete chess sets) are supposed to be from around 1150 AD and are now in the British museum in London with a few in the Museum in Edinburgh Scotland.  Carved from Walrus tusk, they must have been very time consuming to produce and therefore valuable and probably owned by only wealthy people of the time.  Really interesting to look at the figures and think about what life was like back then, when they carved such beautiful chess pieces in a time when there was no electricity, modern tools, plumbing, transportation, furnaces, AC, etc etc.  What a different world it must have been.  

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/british-museum-what-opening-is-this

 

forked_again
Youarereallyquitebad wrote:

@forked_again you are aware that all the evidence suggests these pieces weren't used for chess at all. It was a clever marketing ploy.

All the evidence?  You are mistaken.  I have heard that theory, and to me it is just another conspiracy theory with very weak evidence to support it.  I believe they are chess pieces, and so do the historical experts at the British museum.  

It hardly matters, as they are cool historic pieces of art that could have been for another purpose (like what?) but they make a beautiful chess set regardless.  

There was a thread a while back where the argument was spelled out pretty clearly.  I'll see if I can find it.