• Celtic Art & Archaeology

    Isle of Lewis Chess Pieces

    These 12th century walrus-ivory isle of Lewis chess pieces are currently on exhibit through April 22, 2012 at the Metropolitan’s Cloisters museum in The Game Of Kings. There’s a fairly lengthy but interesting video from the Metropolitan Museum about the Game of Kings exhibit. The Lewis chess pieces were found by a farmer on the Isle of Lewis, the largest of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, in 1831. The Lewis chess pieces seem to have been buried in a sand dune, possibly in a stone cist, near Uig. We don’t even know exactly when they were found, just that it was before 11 April 1831, the date of the first published record.…

  • Medieval manuscripts

    British Library & St. Cuthbert’s Gospel

    Thanks to a spectacular 9 million pounds fund-raising effort (the most successful in its history) the British Library has successfully acquired BL Additional MS 89000, better known as St. Cuthbert’s Gospel. Previously part of the library of Durham Cathedral, the St. Cuthbert’s Gospel is a copy of the Gospel of St John, and the earliest complete European book. St. Cuthbert’s Gospel created in the late 7th century in the north-east of England and placed in St Cuthbert’s coffin, c. 698. When the coffin was opened in Durham Cathedral in 1104 in order to remove Cuthbert’s body and install it to in new shrine, the manuscript was removed and kept in…