In 1964, an antique dealer in Edinburgh buy for five small pounds a miniature chess ivory. The collector is so attached sentimentally to this piece that he bequeaths to his daughter. In memory of her father, the heiress to the range carefully in a drawer, protected by a fine linen. For half a century, this tiny ivory tower (an officer guardian in the language of Shakespeare) will remain motionless in his hiding place.

last year, the owner, intrigued by this officer solitary, separated from his army, submits, finally, its tiny memory of ivory expertise. The miracle occurs when the specialist Alexander Kader exclaimed: “My God, it is a piece of the chess game Lewis!”. Become suddenly a treasure, this room, “Lewis”, dating back to the Fourteenth century, was sold on 2 July by the auction house Sotheby’s for an amount of staggering of 735,000 pounds sterling, or a million dollars in hard economic trébuchants.

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Harry Potter chess player “Lewis”

The experts have tried to trace the flow of this piece and above all, to know how and why she had been separated from the rest of his army. According to their first findings, this tower guardian would have been buried for hundreds of years in sandy soils, such as other tokens, and figurines previously found in the game of chess Lewis. It is interesting to note that the analysis with carbon-14 shows that the piece rediscovered from the period from 1328 to 1434, or about 80 years after the date generally accepted by archaeologists to the other warriors and officers Lewis.

The figures in ivory of the game Lewis has been exhibited for the first time on April 11, 1831 in Edinburgh. They were reportedly found in a room in the brick of the bay of Uig on the isle of Lewis, an island of the Hebrides in Scotland. We peaked then 59 parts-major and minor – 8 Queens, 8 Kings, 15 riders, 16 gannets and boobies, and 12 towers -protected-by-19 foot, all carved in walrus ivory.

Become a legend, the treasure of the king of games has been immortalized in the cinema. In Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone , the hero sorcerer practiced his intelligence on a chessboard Lewis, and one of the ladies posted the color of the devil,… the red.

The game of chess Lewis, a masterpiece of the British Museum

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