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The Game of Kings

game of kings metropolitan museum of art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is proud to introduce its new exhibition, The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis. In 1831, a hoard of luxury items, including more than 70 chess pieces carved of walrus ivory and dating as early as the 12th century, was unearthed on the Isle of Lewis off the west coast of Scotland. The chess pieces, which come from at least four distinct but incomplete sets, are among the most famous chess pieces in the world. The current exhibition at The Cloisters, the medieval art branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, represents the first time a large ensemble of the chessmen has ever traveled outside the United Kingdom. Each piece of the Lewis Chessmen is a unique, individualized sculpture in miniature and the presentation of the pieces will take the form of the final position of a famous modern chess match. See one of the rare chess sets showcased at the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center here.