Knight Chess Piece, Walrus ivory, British

Knight Chess Piece

Date:
ca. 1250
Geography:
Made in probably London, England
Culture:
British
Medium:
Walrus ivory
Dimensions:
Overall: 3 1/16 x 2 9/16 x 1 3/8 in. (7.8 x 6.5 x 3.5 cm)
Classification:
Ivories-Walrus
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.231
Not on view
Although the number of Knights and Bishops on the chessboard is the same, more medieval chess pieces in the form of Knights survive. This example, perfectly poised on his fine horse, battles a dragon, a symbol of evil. But for the lack of a halo and a princess in need of rescue standing nearby, he might be mistaken for Saint George, who, according to legend, slayed a dragon.
Georges Hoentschel (French)(until 1911; sold to Morgan); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1911–1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
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Nickel, Helmut. "Sir Gawayne and the Three White Knights." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 28, no. 4 (December 1969). pp. 174-75, fig. 1.

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