Figuli Lapis Milites (Stone Army): 32 weighty Isle of Lewis chessmen without board, solid polyresin, hand-painted, white vs. red, Asian, c.1990
Height: King 8.5cm, weight 125g, width 4.5cm; Queen 7.7cm 110g, Bishop 7.2cm 60g, Knight 7.5cm 60g, Berserker 7.2cm 45g, Pawns 3.8cm 18g.
W: Lush burgundy felt bases; B: same
Total weight: 1.5 kilos
A set unabashedly inspired by the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Check out the pictures of Harry and Ron playing with these pieces in Hogwart’s Great Hall. What wonderful taste in chessmen they had!
“The most astonishing collection of ancient chessmen in existence” is how most chess historians described these chess pieces when they were unearthed at an old Viking settlement in Uig, Scotland, during the early 1830s. The 74 original pieces (carved from walrus ivory) have been dated to the 12th century when the parish of Uig (from Old Norse, vik, or ‘bay’) like the Isle of Lewis itself along with much of the Outer Hebrides, was ruled by Norsemen invaders from Scandinavia who had colonized the remote outpost – a stepping stone, if you like, to the western shores of the Scottish mainland.
The various tales of just how they were discovered is available on Wikipedia along with photographs of all these particular chess pieces which are part of the Victoria and Albert Museum collection in London.
On some of the original pieces, they found minute traces of “red stain” (possibly from ‘rose madder’ roots of the Rubiaceae family) so I decided to use earthy terracotta red tinted with burnt sienna as a base for the darker pieces keeping in mind, of course, the set Harry and Ron were playing within the Great Hall. The finish has been antiqued with verdigris and highlighted with fine bronze detailing.
The light side is antiqued ivory highlighted with fine iridescent gold.
If you have a mind to purchase this chess set you will be acquiring a truly unique, one-off creation. Only one or two of these art-pieces will be leaving the studio each year and no two sets will be alike – that I can guarantee!
The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual play.
Both kings carry our hand-painted, iridescent copper ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases.
The set is also accompanied by our hand-drawn ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted out separately once we tally up how many ‘Copper Signature’ sets pass through our galleries in 2022 “… all good things …” as the old saying goes.
For more info and images of our CoA click on the Jan. 2022 Chessay, THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE C.O.A.
Etsy Set Price: $995.00
thechessschach.com Set Price: $850.00 CN
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