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    There was a new record for a medieval chess piece at auction today. A newly discovered warder attributed to the Lewis Chessmen workshop sold for £735,000 at Sotheby’s in London. The piece had been acquired for £5 in 1964 by an antiques dealer in Edinburgh and passed down in the same family by descent. It was stored away in his home before being inherited by his daughter, who believed it was special and perhaps imbued with some magical significance. The warder then passed onto the next generation of the family, who approached Sotheby’s to shed light on what was in fact an important historic artefact. Alexander Kader, Sotheby’s Co-Worldwide Head of European Sculpture & Works of Art, began a year-long study of the warder and deduced that the chessman could be one of the lost pieces of the Lewis group.

    The most famous chess pieces to have survived from the medieval world, the Lewis Chessmen were found in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The hoard comprised 93 objects, the majority carved from walrus ivory, which could make four complete sets of figure pieces, with the exception of one Knight and four Warders.

    Attributed to the Lewis Chessman Workshop
    Probably Norwegian, Trondheim, 13th Century


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