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Chess piece (Front)

Chess piece (Front)
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Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cabinet des Médailles et Antiques

Inv. 55.308

Walrus ivory

Height: 78mm
Width: 67mm
Depth: 36mm

Seated king with crossed legs; king holding an upright sword; coat of mail; attendant holding a sword; throne; foliated interlaced scrolls (rinceaux) at the back of the throne.

Koechlin Number: 1254

Chabouillet 1858: 13th century.
Koechlin 1924: France (?), 13th century.
Porter 1974: England, c. 1200-1210.
Paris 1990: England or Scotland, 2nd half of the 13th century.
Museum's opinion 2011: England or Scotland, 13th century.


Carved in the round. Foliated interlaced scrolls (rinceaux) at the back of the throne.

Object Condition
Missing: upper part of the piece including the top of the throne, the head of the king and his sword.

Given by Charles Sauvageot in February 1837.

A. Chabouillet, Catalogue général et raisonné des camées et pierres gravées de la Bibliothèque impériale (Paris, 1858), p. 574.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, p. 469; II, no. 1254; III, pl. CCXI
D. A. Porter, Ivory Carvings in Later Medieval England 1200-1400 (unpublished PhD thesis, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1974), no. 6.
Pièces d'Échecs, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale (Cabinet des médailles et antiques), 7 June - 30 September 1990, no. 33.


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