Six of the Lewis Chessmen have returned to curators at the British Museum in miniature thanks to a unique Isle of Man stamp collection featuring the iconic pieces.
Manx National Heritage visited the British Museum to present the stamp set which was developed in conjunction with Isle of Man Post Office to mark the arrival of the Lewis Chessmen on the Isle of Man.
Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage said:
“Manx National Heritage was delighted to present the stamp collection to the British Museum to whom we are extremely grateful for the loan of the Lewis Chessmen, which have been a popular attraction at the Manx Museum.
Whilst the chess pieces are only on display for a few more days, this unique stamp collection provides a lasting memory of their visit to the Isle of Man”.
Naomi Speakman, British Museum Curator for Late Medieval Europe said:
“The Isle of Man stamp collection perfectly capture the artistic detail of the Lewis Chessmen which are iconic survivors from the 12th century and provide a gateway into the medieval world. By displaying the Chessmen in context with other pieces from ‘The Forgotten Kingdom’, the Lewis Chessmen can be further studied and understood in their original context”.
Dot Tilbury, General Manager of Isle of Man Stamps & Coins said:
“When we heard the Lewis Chessmen and more significantly the Chronicles of Man were coming to the Island, we relished the opportunity to feature them in our stamp programme for 2013 and the results are stunning. We are delighted a set of the stamps have been presented to the British Museum.”
Six of the iconic chess pieces are currently on display at the Manx Museum alongside the Chronicles of the Kings of Man and the Isles, the Isle of Man’s first story-book. The exhibition is on display at the Manx Museum until Saturday 9th March 2013. Admission is free.
First day covers of the stamp collection are available from both the Manx Museum, Regent Street Post Shop, www.iomstamps.com and www.manxheritageshop.com.
Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage presents framed chess set to Naomi Speakman, British Museum Curator for Late Medieval Europe and Dr Roger Bland, Head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure, British Museum.