Chess Anyone?


One of my all time favorite switchplate creations is Spenser’s Berserker [above]. It is composed of 2 images with corner squares of snowflake obsidian chips. The border motif is a detail from an illustration of a craftsman turning chess pieces, found in the “Book of Games,” Circa 1280 A.D..

The main image is of “the Berserker”, one of the ancient Lewis Chessmen.

The Lewis chessmen are a group of 12th-century chess pieces carved in walrus ivory, discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. They are believed to be Norse in origin – left there by the Vikings around 1200 AD.

The Lewis Chessmen

The photo above is from the collection in the British Museum.

What I love about these chess pieces is how their personalities and primal angst are so clearly read on their faces. The Berserker [the rook, in a modern set] is so tense he’s chewing on his shield!

Lewis_chess_queen_.jpg 344×388 pixels:

kingfrontback384x304.jpg (384×304) King, Chessmen from Isle of Lewis; dragon is bottom panel of back of throne. 12th century.:

The Queen [blue background] and the King [shown back and front] are shown above.

My light switch plate is named Spencer’s Berserker for my favorite U.S. chess master, Spencer Finegold, who inspired the piece.

You can see Spencer’s Berserker at my shop, Serra Craft.

The Lewis Chess Set’s history is full of intrigue and amazing facts. To read more about these amazing chess pieces, use this link.

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