Viking Chess piece bought for less than $10 sells for over $900G
A 900-year-old Viking chess piece that was bought for less than $10 in the 1960s has been sold at auction for $924,000.
The 3 1/2-inch Lewis Chessman was sold to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby's in London on Tuesday.
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The extremely rare chess piece was bought for 5 U.K. pounds ($6.30) in 1964 by an antique dealer in Edinburgh, Scotland, and then passed down through this family. For years, the Chessman was kept in a drawer at the home of the antiques dealer’s daughter.
Sotheby’s describes the Less Chessmen as “the most famous chess pieces to have survived from the medieval world.” The auction house had estimated that the chess piece would sell for between $670,000 and $1.26 million.
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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 dozens of pieces, amounting to four chess sets, was discovered in 1831 on Scotland's Isle of Lewis — but five of the pieces were missing.
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The Sotheby's piece, the equivalent of a rook, is the first missing chessman to be identified.
Of the 93 pieces found on the Isle of Lewis, 82 are now in the British Museum in London and 11 are in the collection of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
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A replica of the Lewis Chessmen is used in the game of “Wizard’s Chess” played in the first Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers