A Lewis Chessman.jpg
The chess figure, bought in 1964 in Edinburgh for £5, has sold at a hammer price of £600,000 at Sotheby’s in London.

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The Lewis chessmen pieces, a cache of 12th or 13th century walrus ivory carvings, chiefly reside in the British Museum.

This figure of the warder (or rook) sold at Sotheby’s is believed by the auction house to be one of five missing pieces from the hoard.

The pieces are generally thought to be Norwegian, probably made in the ivory carving centre of Trondheim. This was the seat of the archbishop of Norway, with the island of Lewis under its authority as part of the kingdom of Norway from early Viking times up to the Treaty of Perth in 1266.

Mystery surrounds the exact details of how, and by whom, the Lewis chessmen hoard was found in the Isle of Lewis, the westernmost of the Outer Hebrides, in c.1831.

The family of the Scottish dealer consigned the piece to Sotheby’s July 2 Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art sale in London with an estimate of £600,000-1m.

It sold at a hammer price of £600,000, or £735,000 including buyer's premium.