The Isle of Lewis Chess Set

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Project by JimArnoldChess posted 1042 days ago 2990 views 5 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


4031 posts in 1890 days

#1 posted 1042 days ago

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

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

620 posts in 1995 days

#2 posted 1041 days ago

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


112000 posts in 2179 days

#3 posted 1041 days ago

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

-- Custom furniture

View rdlaurance's profile


361 posts in 1948 days

#4 posted 1041 days ago

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


14821 posts in 1790 days

#5 posted 1041 days ago

Wow not that is some great work!

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

View Eric_S's profile


1521 posts in 1797 days

#6 posted 1041 days ago

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

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

View helluvawreck's profile


15431 posts in 1468 days

#7 posted 1041 days ago

This is extraordinary.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View spud72's profile


303 posts in 2096 days

#8 posted 1041 days ago

Great work; Nice craftmanship

-- Guy,PEI

View CharlieM1958's profile


15664 posts in 2820 days

#9 posted 1041 days ago

Fantastic work!

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

View woodzy's profile


416 posts in 1280 days

#10 posted 1041 days ago

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

-- Anthony

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14604 posts in 2277 days

#11 posted 1041 days ago


-- "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 2398 days

#12 posted 1041 days ago

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


920 posts in 1394 days

#13 posted 1041 days ago

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


2345 posts in 1563 days

#14 posted 1040 days ago

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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