King

replica: from the British Museum, London

donated by: Professor Sharon Wright and Lyla Wright

date of the original: 1150-1200 CE

provenance of the original: Uig, an area on the western coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland buried in a sandbank.

description: The Kings are all seated on highly intricate thrones, each holding a sword with both hands and resting it across his knees suggesting both the King's physical strength and unwavering justice.  Drawing on the regal fashion of the time their hair is arranged in thick braids across their backs.

The "Norwegian argument," the belief that the Chessmen were crafted in Trondheim, Norway, is the most widely accepted theory pertaining to the origins of the Chessmen as it is supported by the most evidence. However, some scholars have recently found evidence that suggest the possibility of the Lewis Chessmen pieces having Icelandic roots.