Medieval Chess History

In Medieval Europe there are a lot of interesting chess pieces found. Often these pieces are made from very expensive materials. According to legend a precious chess set has been offered to Charlemagne in 801, for his crowning, by Harun-al-Rashid the Caliph of Baghdad. These figurine pieces are very nicely carved and made from Elephant Ivory.



A very nice set of figurine pieces were found on the Isle of Lewis and made from Walrus Tusk. These pieces give a nice picture of the Scandinavian life during the 12th century.


From arabic origin are abstract pieces, nice sets from rock crystal are found in Spain and Germany. A will from the 11th century of the Count of Urgel in Spain describes the offering of such a set to Saint-Gilles du Gars Abbey.


Chess Pieces were often made of precious materials and often ended as a gift  to churches. The pieces were cut and ended for instance in a book cover. Sometimes they were also used in their original form. A nice example is the pulpit of Henry II in Aachen from about 1014.




Slideshow

Medieval Literature

Medieval Art

Sources

http://www.chessgraphics.net/cat02.htm
http://lcc.gatech.edu/~cpearce3/lcc4725/blog/?cat=4&paged=2
https://sites.google.com/site/carolusschaak/schaak-geschiedenis-middeleeuwen
http://tpgbesancon.free.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?id=27&p=1