Chess sets, chess boards and chess pieces. The Lewis Chessmen or the isle of Lewis chess set is the most famous chess set in the world aside from the Staunton chess pieces. The original Lewis chess pieces were made in the 12th century by Norwegian craftsmen and hidden by traders on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland where they lay undetected until 1831 when they were discovered by a local farmer.
The pieces are lovingly decorated to create a metallic aged effect in keeping with the character of the pieces, and which represents many hours of dedicated work.
Never before has a Chess set courted so much controversy and intrigue. As the story (or at least one of them) goes, At some point during the 12th Century a Nordic ship was sheltering from a storm in a sheltered bay off the Isle of Lewis. Onboard the ship an imprisoned cabin boy seizes his chance to escape, sneaks into the Captain’s cabin and steals a bag containing at least 128 carved walrus pieces and swims ashore but is spotted by a robber, who murders him and steals the Lewis chessmen. The murderer disposes of the body in a grave, buries the walrus tusk chess pieces in a secret location (still unknown) and leaves planning to return at a later date to collect his loot. He travels to the port of Stornoway, and while there is arrested and sentenced to death. Whilst awaiting execution for the as yet unknown crime he confesses to killing the cabin boy and burying him on the island.
Fast forward around 600 years to 1831 when one day a herdsman’s cow pops its head into a nearby sandbank and pulls out 92 of the Lewis chess pieces. The herdsman then sells the find to a Captain Pyrie, who travels to Edinburgh and sells it to a Mr Forrest who in turn sells 82 of the pieces to the British Museum; the remaining eleven Lewis Chessmen, he sells to a certain Mr Sharpe, who then sells them to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
There are so many legends, myths and mysteries to the iconic chessmen that having them in your hand is something very special indeed.
As well as enjoying the aesthetic quality of playing chess with such a beautiful chess set, the act of playing chess itself has been linked to a variety of health benefits and is said to help develop perspective, improve memory, increase intelligence, deepen focus, elevate creativity, boost planning skills, increase self-awareness, protect against dementia, help ADHD and reduce panic attack symptoms.
With so many positives to playing chess it is hardly surprizing that so many more people are making playing chess a part of their daily lives, so why not do it in style with a beautiful handmade Isle of Lewis chess set from our shop and discover the magic of playing chess with this most iconic chess set.
Unlike most other Lewis sets this collection contains the rare Berserker pawn giving it its unique character and strong figurative presence.
The pieces are made from reconstructed stone and come with felt bases attached as standard.
The tallest piece (The King) is 9 cm’s tall with a 4.5 cm base making this a very substantial collection of chessmen.
This listing is for the chess pieces only. The boards are not part of this listing and are for display purposes only; however please keep an eye on my future listings as I do intend to sell some of my collection of boards in the coming months.
Treat your Chess Set with tender loving care for a lifetimes worth of enjoyment.
Pieces can chip or break if dropped or treated roughly.
The pieces will be individually wrapped and carefully packaged to ensure safe arrival at their new home.
Thanks for looking and please check out my other listings.
If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a message and I'll get back to you asap.
*At Mournestudios all boards and pieces are bespoke and are custom made and personalised just for you, and as such will carry the name of the customer that they have been made for and the date of completion on the base of a number of pieces (usually each king, just beneath the felt), and for the boards simply under the felt.
If a different name is required as if often the case with gifts etc. please leave a message to this effect at checkout.
I am happy to offer custom colours on all of my work, so if you see a chess set or board in my shop that you like the colours of and would like those on your new set as opposed to the colours advertised, then simply leave me a message at check out and I will get back to confirm your choices.
If you have a colour that I don't currently stock, I'm also happy to see if I can find it for you.
All of the Chess pieces here at
*Mournestudios are are intended for collectors of 14 years of age and above and are not considered as toys within the EU Toy safety Directive (as referred to in Article 2(1)).
If there are any colours that you see available in my shop you can request your chess pieces or board in those colours. if you drop me a quick message I'll get back to confirm your choices. Thanks
Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
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Each Chess set that I produce is made from the highest quality materials with additional enhancements added to strengthen them.
Each piece is individually hand painted and unique to you.
I offer a diverse range of Chess sets to suit the needs of every player and ensure that all items go through a rigorous quality assurance process before their final dispatch.
With so many happy customers who have kindly left me so many positive reviews, you can rest assured that your chosen chess set will be something special.
In Ireland and more specifically within my family, we have a long tradition of producing high quality Arts & Crafts that has been handed down over the years,and that ethos and commitment to quality is ever present in my work.
Unfortunately once an item has been dispatched I have little or no control over what happens on it's journey to you.
All of my items are now sent with full tracking provided which will help with resolving any postal issues in the unlikely event that something goes wrong (delays, customs hold ups etc).
I'm always happy to step in and help you resolve the issue.
Absolutely yes. Any of the chess sets sold are available in a variety of colours. Details available on request.
All sets are personalised by default and carry the customers initials on the base of a number of pieces.
What you can expect from MourneStudios is to be kept updated with the process of making, and dispatching etc.
I will always be honest and give you realistic time frames for the completion of your purchase and will stay in touch throughout the whole process and beyond.
It is my personal goal to ensure that every customer is more than happy with both the art works that I offer and the level of service I provide.
My vision for MourneStudios is that I am able to grow my business into a long term venture offering a diverse and eclectic mixture of hand crafted works and in order to do that I will be going to extra mile for all of my customers.
All of the chess sets that are for sale here at MourneStudios are made from reconstructed stone (Alabaster, Gypsum etc) and are further enhanced with an acrylic polymer for strength.
As an Artist and Maker, I have always been very particular about the materials that I use. It is important to me that the materials are ethically sourced and have as little impact on the environment as is possible. For that reason I do not use any polyurethane or Polyester resins in my work.
Apart from the harmful effects that plastic has on our environment, I find that Chess pieces made from natural materials are much more welcoming to the touch, which makes for a more enjoyable Chess experience.
Yes!! All chess pieces come with high quality felt bases as standard, However, not everybody wants their chess pieces with felt bases as it removes the sound of the piece touching the board, and if you would rather not have felt bases added we are more than happy to accommodate.
If that's you, simply add a note at checkout to say that you would rather not have the bases and I shall make it so.
In most cases your order will be ready much sooner than that, however it depends on how many orders we are working on at that time.
4-6 weeks is the maximum time that an order should take but I do aim to have your order ready much sooner if it is at all possible.
If you need your order to be ready by a particular date and you drop me a message to let us know beforehand, I will do My best to accommodate you and will let you know before you place your order if that date is possible from my end of things.
Very well packed indeed. We want to you get your order in the condition that it leaves our studio.
Each chess piece will be individually wrapped in bubble wrap and placed in a thick cardboard box with plenty of extra packing to ensure that it absorbs any bumps along the way.
If your order does not arrive in perfect condition I will replace any of the broken items at no cost to yourself (including postage and packing).
It is my goal here at MourneStudios to ensure that you are more than happy with your order and will do whatever I can to make sure that that happens.
Whilst the stone casting material that I use is very robust, and is further enhanced with an acrylic polymer to strengthen it, care should always be taken when handling chess pieces due to the nature of their shapes.
The chess set is a collection of castings and if handled with care will last a lifetime and beyond, however as with all earthenware they are not impervious to wear and tear and can break or chip if bumped or dropped onto a tiled floor for example.
As a general and by no means comprehensive guide, these pieces should be handled in the same way that one would handle all earthenware or pottery.
A variety of colour options are available. If you have a custom request I will gladly work with you to source the colours that you want.
I really do want you to have the best customer experience you can with MourneStudios. I'm really are here to help.
Oct 21, 2021
We are very pleased with our new Lewis Chess set. Adam was very good to work with and very open to our requests. The pieces came out very nice with the colors we requested. They have a good feel and weight and have felt on the bottoms. Adam's suggestion about the size worked perfect for our board and looks great in our living room. The attached photo is one that I took, I just erased the sides on this photo to focus just on the board. Not only are we very pleased with Adam's work but we also enjoyed out texts back and forth with him. He comes across as a great person and very easy to work with. We would be glad to order again if needed and highly reccomend purchasing your chess set or board from him.
Aug 8, 2021
Adam was a fantastic seller from start to finish. He kept me updated throughout (as he makes them from scratch! What a talented guy), was fantastic working towards a birthday deadline, and even gave board size advice afterwards. Pieces have arrived safely, each individually wrapped in bubble wrap and look tremendous. Only reason not to share a photo is because it's now gift wrapped for an upcoming birthday! Throughly recommend 😊
Feb 23, 2021
Feb 23, 2021
Fantastic pieces, fitted very well on the board we were given. Good weight, a joy to play with and lovely detail. Well worth the wait.