A & A spacer courtauld institute of art
quick search advanced search browse temp folder

Chess piece

Chess piece
enlarge image zoom image






Repository Institution

To purchase an image

Compiègne, Musée Antoine Vivenel


Walrus ivory or elephant ivory

Height: 68mm
Width: 67mm
Depth: 38mm
Weight: 160g

Knight in armour on horseback fighting a dragon (on both sides); scrolls (rinceaux); foliated decoration.

Koechlin Number: 1258

Koechlin 1924: France, 13th century.
Paris, 1970: France, 13th century.
Ottawa 1972: England, mid 13th century.
London 1987: England (?), c. 1240-50.
Pastoureau 1990: France or England, mid 13th century.
Paris 1990: England or France (North), mid 13th century.
Manderen 2005: Scandinavia, 13th century.
Museum's opinion 2011: France or England or Scandinavia, mid 13th century.


Carved on both sides.

The composition is repeated on both sides.

Collection of Antoine Vivenel (b. 1799, d. 1862), Paris (from the 2nd quarter of the 19th century); made into a museum in 1841; given to the town of Compiègne in 1843.

Exposition Universelle de 1900, Catalogue illustré Officiel de l'Exposition Rétrospective de l'Art Français (Paris, 1900), no. 81.
E. Molinier, F. Marcou, L'Exposition rétrospective de l'Art français des origines à 1900 (Paris, 1900), p. 5 (ill.).
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, p. 470, II, no. 1258.
M. Longhurst, English Ivories (London, 1926), no. XLIX, pl. 41, pp. 39 and 100.
La France de Saint-Louis, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Conciergerie, 1970, no. 177.
Tardy, Les Ivoires (Paris, 1972), p. 94, pl. 135.
Art and the Courts: France and England from 1259 to 1328, exhibition catalogue, Ottawa, The National Gallery of Canada, 28 April-2 July, 1972, p. 119, no. 68c, pl. 93.
D. A. Porter, Ivory Carvings in Later Medieval England 1200-1400 (unpublished PhD thesis, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1974), no. 19.
Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, ed. by J. J. G. Alexander and Paul Binski, exhibition catalogue, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1987, no. 148.
M. Pastoureau, L'Échiquier de Charlemagne: un jeu pour ne pas jouer (Paris, 1990), p. 43, no. 30.
Pièces d'Échecs, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale (Cabinet des médailes et antiques), 7 June - 30 September 1990, no. 32.
Dragons, ed. by P. Hoch and P. Absalon, exhibition catalogue, Manderen, Château de Malbrouck, 16 April - 31 October 2005, p. 66, no. 49.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, p. 549, in relation to no. 156.


© Musée Antoine Vivenel, Compiègne. Photography: Benoît Roland.

All images on this website are made available exclusively for scholarly and educational purposes and may not be used commercially.

spacer spacer spacer spacer
Please remember to acknowledge any use of the site in publications and lectures as: 'Gothic Ivories Project at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, www.gothicivories.courtauld.ac.uk', followed by the date you accessed the site.