On Tuesday evening, with my councillor hat on, I was lucky to attend the opening of the new Across the Board exhibition at Luton’s Wardown Park Museum. This is a really wonderful exhibition of games that have been played throughout the world since ancient times. There are objects related to Senet from Egypt, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, and various chess pieces, as well as more modern games such as Monopoly and fantasy wargaming figures.
But the highlight of the exhibition is a number of the Lewis Chessmen on loan from the British Museum. The Lewis Chessmen are beautifully carved walrus ivory chess pieces from the 12th Century that were found on the Isle of Lewis sometime in the early 1830’s. They are truly stunning and are regarded as one of Britain’s national treasures. But don’t get the idea that these are some sort of inaccessible art treasure. The really great thing about them is that the carvings are human and full of character and humour. They reminded some of the visitors of Noggin the Nog. The quality of the craftsmanship is outstanding and I was particularly taken by a very cute head of the horse of one of the knight pieces.
Can you tell that I liked them? It is really worth going to the exhibition to see these alone.
The exhibition is open until 21st January 2007. Do go along and see it if you are near Luton any time soon.
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.