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Photo, Print, Drawing Piece of the Charlemagne Chess Set: The Pawn.

About this Item

Title

  • Piece of the Charlemagne Chess Set: The Pawn.

Summary

  • The famous chess set called the Jeu d'échec de Charlemagne (Charlemagne's chess set) was once part of the treasury of the Basilica of Saint-Denis. It was made near Salerno, Italy, at the end of the 11th century. It was long thought to have belonged to Charlemagne, who was said to have received it as a gift from Caliph Harun al-Rashid. In fact, this cannot have been the case, because the game of chess was only introduced to the Western world by the Arabs two centuries after Charlemagne's reign (762-814). The set was intended more as a symbol than to be used for play. Its dimensions are unusual. The knights are 12.3 centimeters, the pawns eight centimeters high. The bishop is represented as an archer ready to shoot an arrow. The game itself is an exemplary symbolic system, depicting each individual's place in medieval society. The set became part of the collections of the National Library of France in 1793 as a result of confiscations during the French Revolution. It is now kept by the Money, Medals, and Antiques Division of the library. The set is incomplete. While it included 30 pieces in 1534, only 16 were left at the time of the French Revolution.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1075 to 1099]

Headings

  • -  France
  • -  Italy--Campania--Salerno
  • -  1075 to 1099
  • -  Board games
  • -  Chess

Notes

  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 1 chess piece : ivory ; 8 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of France.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.

Medium

  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021670732

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Piece of the Charlemagne Chess Set: The Pawn. Campania Italy Salerno France, 1075. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1099] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2021670732/.

APA citation style:

(1075) Piece of the Charlemagne Chess Set: The Pawn. Campania Italy Salerno France, 1075. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1099] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2021670732/.

MLA citation style:

Piece of the Charlemagne Chess Set: The Pawn. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1099] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2021670732/>.