Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Queen Chess Piece

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 10
Few medieval pieces in the form of Bishops, Kings, or Queens survive. The Queen was one of medieval Europe’s key contributions to the game of chess as it is known today. Beginning in the twelfth century, Queens gradually replaced the Viziers (male advisers to the king) of the Islamic and Persian chess tradition. Astride her horse and poised for battle, this Queen is surrounded by an entourage; some members of the group 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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