The Isle of Lewis Chess Set

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Project by JimArnoldChess posted 09-21-2011 04:13 AM 7642 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of the most famous chess sets of all time. Re-discovered in Scotland in the mid 1800s, the original set is thought to have been made between 1100-1200AD in Norway. Board and pieces solid Maple and Walnut, kings about 2.25” square at the base and about 4.25” tall, board measures about 27” square.

I added a replica of the ruins at Hamar to the board, the Catheral at Hamar was built around the same time as the pieces. The word CHESS is carved into the ruins in period alphabet.


14 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4261 days

#1 posted 09-21-2011 04:27 AM

another great looking set, heres one for ya try presidente vs presidente

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

711 posts in 4365 days

#2 posted 09-21-2011 05:49 AM

I have carved several sets of Lewis pieces myself out of Spalded Maple and Walnut. If you check out my site, I’m now doing 1 set out of Deer and Moose Antler, even the board. It’s a great set to carve. You’ve done a great job!

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4549 days

#3 posted 09-21-2011 06:26 AM

Very very cool a unique and special set. Looks like tons of work.


View rdlaurance's profile


380 posts in 4319 days

#4 posted 09-21-2011 09:53 AM

I’ve nothing but envy for your you and your work, Jim. You’ve once again produced an incredibly beautiful heirloom work of functional art!

My house renovation nears completion (possibly mid Winter) and once it is under wraps, the inspiration I’ve been soaking up from your creations and those of numerous other LJ’s will drive me on to whet my carving knives and appetite for making woodchips once again. Meanwhile I await any new postings you’ve got…. hungrily! LOL

my best to you…

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4161 days

#5 posted 09-21-2011 01:26 PM

Wow not that is some great work!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4167 days

#6 posted 09-21-2011 01:33 PM

As always, a very cool design chessmkr1. I really like the knights and the ruins at Hamar addition as well. Amazing work!

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3839 days

#7 posted 09-21-2011 01:57 PM

This is extraordinary.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View spud72's profile


333 posts in 4466 days

#8 posted 09-21-2011 02:33 PM

Great work; Nice craftmanship

-- Guy,PEI

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5190 days

#9 posted 09-21-2011 02:41 PM

Fantastic work!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 3651 days

#10 posted 09-21-2011 02:50 PM

Cool. I love history and woodworking. this project works or me on many levels.
Your work is excellent.

-- Anthony

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20026 posts in 4648 days

#11 posted 09-21-2011 08:59 PM


-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4768 days

#12 posted 09-21-2011 10:49 PM

SWEET! I love the Isle of Lewis set and am giddy to see so many LumberJocks share that love :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View jeepturner's profile


946 posts in 3764 days

#13 posted 09-22-2011 03:40 AM

I must say that every time you share another creation with us I have to go and look once more at all of your chess sets. They are all over the top, each one is amazing. Thanks for sharing this one and now I will look forward to the
next one.

-- Mel,

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3933 days

#14 posted 09-22-2011 10:37 PM

What is the lettering on the arch? My complements on the set. My old set is handcarved in France but nothing like yours!

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