Viking chess piece sells for more than $900,000 at auction
London – A 900-year-old Viking chess piece bought for a few dollars in the 1960s has sold at auction for 735,000 pounds ($927,000).
The 3 1/2-inch (8.8-centimeter) Lewis Chessman sold to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby’s in London on Tuesday.
The Lewis Chessmen are intricate, expressive chess pieces in the form of Norse warriors, carved from walrus ivory in the 12th century.
A hoard of dozens of pieces, amounting to four chess sets, was discovered in 1831 on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis – but five of the pieces were missing.
The Sotheby’s piece, the equivalent of a rook, is the first missing chessman to be identified.
It was bought by an antiques dealer in Scotland in 1964 and passed down to his family before being identified as a Lewis figure.