Monday, April 16, 2012

Oh! If you're in New York

Go to the Cloisters, catch a thorough glimpse of the Lewis Chessmen before they return to London! Hurry hurry, ends April 22!

I love these little creatures. The pensive queen, the solemn horses. When I was little, my dad bought a plaster mould set (like this one) so we could cast our own chessmen and paint them.

There was something so familiar and emotional about them even back then.
Perhaps because I, like most people up in the North (and many Japanese?) grew up with the images and stories of Tove Jansson.

Look at this image of a knight so ready to go into battle he almost can't contain himself, he's chewing on his shield while waiting for the actual confrontation. He looks like someone, doesn't he, Tove Jansson?
He looks a lot like Mårran. At least to me. At least to the child I once was.

Here's a picture of Tove.


  1. this show is amazing as it looks on your blog--the chess pieces are gorgeous, all carved out of walrus tusks. alexei loved it.

  2. One of the really intriguing things about them is how they were found - on the beach? A more than full set - 78 pieces.

    I'm quoting wikipedia here:
    "Malcolm "Sport" Macleod from the nearby township of Pennydonald discovered the trove in a small stone kist in a dune, exhibited them briefly in his byre and sold them on to Captain Roderick Ryrie."

    It makes me just want to stroll the dunes of the outer hebrides.


I welcome any comment, so happy to hear from you.