Carved from walrus ivory and measuring just 8.8 cm, it’s incredible to learn that this star lot of Sotheby’s Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art auction was purchased for £5 by an antiques dealer in Edinburgh in the 1960s. As one of the most famous chess pieces to have survived from the 13th-century medieval world, this is the first additional piece to have been found since the initial discovery of the Lewis Chessman hoard in northern Scotland around 1831. This piece – one of four Warders of the 93-piece hoard – is thought to have originated from Trondheim, in Norway. There are now only five pieces whose whereabouts remain unknown.
Auctioned by Sotheby’s in London for £735,000/RM3.8 million.