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Chess Piece of a Queen
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Chess Piece of a Queen

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This chess piece of a queen seated inside a castle is modeled on similar pieces made in the Arab world in the 8th and 9th centuries and brought to western Europe as gifts or articles of trade. The queen's headdress, a close-fitting hood with headband, is typical, though, of royal garments worn in 12th-century Spain. The piece is carved from a walrus tusk, used as a cheaper alternative to elephant ivory. This is the only medieval chesspiece of a queen in an American collection.
Date Description Narrative
7/25/1987Examinationexamined for loan
  • History of Chess. Stanford University, Stanford. 1960.
  • The Medieval Craftsman and His Modern Counterpart. Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington; Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans. 1959.
  • The Song of Roland. Palmer Museum of Art, University Park. 1978.
  • Checkmate! Medieval People at Play. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
  • A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 2016-2017.
Provenance Count Auguste de Bastard, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henri Daguerre, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1926, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1926

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12th century (Medieval)
walrus ivory
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
H: 2 3/4 x W: 1 3/4 x D: 2 11/16 in. (7.1 x 4.4 x 6.8 cm)
  • Spain (Place of Origin)

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