Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Chess Piece in the Form of a Queen

13th century
Whale ivory
Overall: 2 5/8 x 2 3/8 x 1 7/16 in. (6.7 x 6.1 x 3.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Pfeiffer Fund, 2012
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
Chess pieces in the form of a Queen were one of medieval Europe’s key contributions to the game of chess as it is known today. Beginning in the 12th century, they gradually replaced the Viziers, the male advisers to the King in Islamic and Persian chess tradition.
Astride her horse and poised for battle, this queen is surrounded by an entourage, some of whom seek her aid.
Hôtel Drouot, Paris (December 20, 1982); Sotheby's, London(July 3, 2012, lot 31)
European Sculpture and Works of Art: Medieval to Modern, Including an Important Private Collection of Medieval Works of Art. London: Sotheby's, July 3, 2012. no. 31, p. 42, ill. p. 43.

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