A & A spacer courtauld institute of art
quick search advanced search browse temp folder

Chess piece (Front)

Chess piece (Front)
enlarge image zoom image




Repository Institution

To purchase an image

Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Grünes Gewölbe

Inv. II 201

Walrus ivory

Height: 129 mm
Width: 54 mm
Depth: 63 mm

Bishop on horseback with mitre; soldiers holding crossbows; cleric holding a cross; cleric holding an open book.

Erbstein 1884: 13th-14th century.
Sponsel 1921: 14th century.
Behrends 1963 and Petzold 1986: Southern Germany.
Munich 2010: Northern Germany, 14th century (other piece considered to be from the same set).
Museum’s opinion 2013: Northern Germany, 14th century.


Carved in the round.

Object Condition
Missing: upper part of the cross.

This chess piece is certainly part of the same set as another one in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich (Inv. MA 179). See related objects.
Similar pieces are also in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum in London.

First mentioned in the inventory of the Ivory Room in the Grünes Gewölbe Museum in 1819.

J. G. T. Graesse, Beschreibender Catalog des k. Grünen Gewölbes, zu Dresden (Dresden, 1879), p. 23.
J. and A. Erbstein, Das Königliche Grüne Gewölbe zu Dresden (Dresden, 1884), p. 23, no. 201.
J. L. Sponsel, Führer durch das Grüne Gewölbe zu Dresden (Dresden, 1921), pp. 22-23.
H. and S. Wichmann, Schach: Ursprung und Wandlung der Spielfigur in zwölf Jahrhunderten (Munich, 1960), p. 295
Künstlerische Schachfiguren aus zehn Jahrhunderten, ed. by R. Behrends (Frankfurt am Main, 1963), p. 59, fig. 59.
J. Petzold, Schach: eine Kulturgeschichte (Leipzig, 1986), fig. 46.
Mittelalterliche Elfenbeinarbeiten: ausgewählte Werke aus den Beständen des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums, ed. by R. Eikelmann, M. Weniger and C. Melzer, exhibition catalogue, Munich, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, 2010, no. 29 (other piece considered to be from the same set).
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), in relation to no. 247.


© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Grünes Gewölbe, Dresden.

All images on this website are made available exclusively for scholarly and educational purposes and may not be used commercially.

spacer spacer spacer spacer
Please remember to acknowledge any use of the site in publications and lectures as: 'Gothic Ivories Project at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, www.gothicivories.courtauld.ac.uk', followed by the date you accessed the site.