An ivory chess piece bought for lower than $10 was just lately recognized as one of many lacking Lewis Chessman, 900-year-old artifacts relationship again to the Viking period, which may very well be price over $1 million .
The medieval chess piece was initially bought for $7.50 by an vintage seller in Scotland in 1964. It was handed down via his household, however they by no means realized its significance.
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“For a few years it resided in a drawer in [my mother’s] house the place it had been rigorously wrapped in a small bag,” the household, who wished to stay nameless, mentioned in a press release obtained by the Unbiased.
The household introduced the piece to Sotheby’s public sale home in London for a free evaluation, the BBC reported. Sotheby’s mentioned Monday it might go for between $670,000 and $1.26 million at public sale.
The Lewis Chessmen are intricate, expressive chess items within the type of Norse warriors, carved from walrus ivory within the 12th century. The items are thought-about to be symbolic of European civilization, the BBC reported.
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A hoard of 93 items was found in 1831 on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis. It’s now held in each the British Museum in London and the Nationwide Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh — however 5 of the chess items have been lacking.
This piece, the equal of a rook, is the primary of the lacking items to be recognized.
“There are nonetheless 4 on the market someplace. It’d take one other 150 years for an additional one to pop up,” Sotheby’s European sculpture skilled Alexander Kader advised the Unbiased.
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Kader went on to say that the discover is “one of the vital thrilling and private rediscoveries to have been made throughout my profession.”
The piece shall be auctioned July 2.
The Related Press contributed to this report.