Lost Chess Piece Found in Drawer Could Fetch 13M at Auction

first_img A long-lost chess piece missing for almost 200 years was unknowingly kept in a drawer by a family in Scotland, and now it could fetch up to $1.3 million in an upcoming auction.The chess piece was purchased for $6 (£5) by the family’s grandfather, an antiques dealer, in 1964. Stored in a drawer for 55 years, the piece could now fetch up to $1.3 million (£1 million) at auction after the late owner’s family took it to Sotheby’s auction house in London for assessment.Family members had no idea that the object — one of the 900-year-old Lewis Chessmen — is one of the most famous chess pieces in the world, and among the greatest artifacts of the Viking area.(Photo Credit: Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for Sotheby’s)The Lewis Chessmen are intricate, expressive chess pieces in the form of Norse warriors, carved from walrus ivory in the 12th century.A hoard of 93 chess figures was dug up on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides more than 180 years ago, but five pieces have been missing for years.The 3 1/2-inch (8.8-centimeter) piece, which will be auctioned July 2, the equivalent of a rook, is the first of the missing chessmen to be identified. It was passed down to the family of the antiques dealer, who did not realize its significance.The Lewis Chessmen are among the biggest draws at the British Museum and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, according to BBC News. They are seen as an “important symbol of European civilization” and have inspired everything from children’s show Noggin The Nog to part of the plot in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone.“My mother was very fond of the Chessman as she admired its intricacy and quirkiness,” the family, who wished to remain anonymous, said in a statement obtained by the BBC. “She believed that it was special and thought perhaps it could even have had some magical significance.”“For many years it resided in a drawer in her home where it had been carefully wrapped in a small bag. From time to time, she would remove the chess piece from the drawer in order to appreciate its uniqueness.”Sotheby’s expert Alexander Kader, who examined the piece for the family, said his “jaw dropped” when he realized what they had in their possession.The Lewis Chessmen set includes seated kings and queens, bishops, knights and standing warders and pawns. Some 82 pieces are now in the British Museum and 11 pieces held by the National Museum of Scotland.From the British Museum’s collection: Five of the Lewis Chessmen, ivory chess pieces from a collection of 93 found at Uig on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. (Photo Credit: CM Dixon / Print Collector / Getty Images)Since the hoard was uncovered in 1831, one knight and four warders have been missing from the four combined chess sets.The newly-discovered piece is a warder, a man with helmet, shield and sword and the equivalent of a rook on a modern chess board, which “has immense character and power.”“There are still four out there somewhere. It might take another 150 years for another one to pop up,” Kader told the Independent.Kader estimates the warder could fetch up to $1.3 million (£1 million) when it goes up for auction next month at Sotheby’s. “We can safely say that a million pounds will transform the seller’s life.”He added: “There are still four out there somewhere. It might take another 150 years for another one to pop up.”More on Geek.com:Rare Apple-1 Computer Goes Up for Auction, Could Fetch Up to $650,000Instruction Manual Used for Apollo 11 Moon Landing Is Up for Auction‘Miracle’ Coin That Saved WWI Soldier’s Life When It Deflected a Bullet Goes Up for Auction Mint-Condition Set of Pokemon Cards Sold For $107KRare, ‘Legendary’ 1894 Dime Could Fetch More Than $1 Million… Stay on targetlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *