The Isle of Lewis Chess Set

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Project by JimArnoldChess posted 09-21-2011 04:13 AM 3189 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


4032 posts in 1974 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,

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

620 posts in 2079 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


112296 posts in 2263 days

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

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

-- Custom furniture

View rdlaurance's profile


363 posts in 2033 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


15082 posts in 1875 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


1521 posts in 1881 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 Indianapolis, IN

View helluvawreck's profile


15959 posts in 1553 days

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

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


313 posts in 2180 days

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

Great work; Nice craftmanship

-- Guy,PEI

View CharlieM1958's profile


15706 posts in 2904 days

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

Fantastic work!

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

View woodzy's profile


416 posts in 1365 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


14855 posts in 2362 days

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


-- "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 2482 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


924 posts in 1478 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


2364 posts in 1647 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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