Joining Rosland’s British Museum Masterpiece Collection is this gold Bishop – a chessman made from walrus ivory in Norway about AD 1150-1200 and found in 1831 hidden in a sandbank on the coast of the Scottish Isle of Lewis. This is one of 93 pieces found in the hoard, presumed to have been hidden for safety by a trader traveling the sea routes connecting Scandinavia and the British Isles in the Middle Ages. Chess came via the Islamic world to Christian Europe, where the game was adapted to reflect medieval European society with its kings, queens, bishops and warriors.
This 2023-issue 0.25 oz, 999.9 fine gold proof coin is minted by PAMP SA, one of the world’s finest mints, and appears in a strictly limited mintage.
The protective packaging features the intricate carved ivory of one of the chess pieces and acts as a numbered certificate of authenticity, with statements of weight, purity, and quality, together with the signature of the accredited, independent Swiss assayer at PAMP.
© 2023 The Trustees of the British Museum