Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Queen Chess Piece

13th century
Whale ivory
2 5/8 × 2 3/8 × 1 7/16 in. (6.7 × 6.1 × 3.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Pfeiffer Fund, 2012
Accession Number:
Not on view
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 (British)(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.

Related Objects

Game Piece with a Scene from the Life of Apollonius of Tyre

Artist: Date: ca. 1170
Accession Number: 1996.224
Date: ca. 1170 Medium: Walrus ivory Accession: 1996.224 On view in:Gallery 304

Knight Chess Piece

Artist: Date: ca. 1250
Accession Number: 17.190.231
Date: ca. 1250 Medium: Walrus ivory Accession: 17.190.231 On view in:Not on view

Plaque with Agnus Dei on a Cross between Emblems of the Four Evangelists

Artist: Date: 1000–1050
Accession Number: 17.190.38
Date: 1000–1050 Medium: Ivory Accession: 17.190.38 On view in:Gallery 304

Casket with Scenes from Romances

Artist: Date: ca. 1310–30
Accession Number: 17.190.173a, b; 1988.16
Date: ca. 1310–30 Medium: Elephant ivory Accession: 17.190.173a, b; 1988.16 On view in:Gallery 14

Chess Piece in the Form of a King

Artist: Date: 1350–1400
Accession Number: 2000.153
Date: 1350–1400 Medium: Walrus ivory Accession: 2000.153 On view in:Gallery 307