The famous Lewis Chessmen were discovered on the Isle of Lewis off the western coast of Scotland in 1831. The pieces, depicting Nordic armies, are believed to have originated in Trondheim, the medieval capital of Norway. The stories of their discovery have become mythic, one of the more popular entails a shepard running across them in a cave. Upon illuminating the encloser he was startled by the sinister little faces starting back at him. Fearing for his life, he ran away from the site to return later and discover they were only carved chessmen. The Lewis pieces, carved mostly from walrus ivory, are on display in the British Museum. Copies of this design are quite easy to come by, especially so since the Harry Potter movies featured them as the pieces for 'Wizard Chess.'

Some pictures of the real set along with more information can be found on the British Museum's site.

This is also an excellent site.

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