Legendary "lost" medieval chess piece found in drawer, expected to go for £1 million at auction

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/03/legendary-lost-medieval-ch.html

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Why not return it to the rest of the set, though?

Like, as a genuine question regarding discovery of items of historic significance in private ownership. IIRC Britain has a bunch of unusually specific laws governing that kind of thing, since hundreds of years of residents had a habit of leaving stashes of valuable objects in the dirt that modern inhabitants keep tripping over.

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Wild, just learned about them recently here:

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image

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They used old poo for chess pieces?

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Time to fire up the 3d-printers, boys. £1 million?

What is that in real money?

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if i were that family, i’d be speeding home and tearing through every nook and cranny of old grandad’s stuff. because, if he bought ONE piece, why wouldn’t he have bought more?

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Just throwing this out here…

If I knew how to even begin, I would clone the cells that produce ivory, splice it into something ‘close enough’, like cow horns…and keep it very, very secret. I would slowly flood the market with Genuine Carved Ivory Objets d’Art [that can’t be openly authenticated for fear of seizure by customs enforcement], until just like the Dr. Seuss movie, Sneetches on the Beaches , no one could be sure what they just paid for. If you can’t be sure of you’re buying, the market collapses.

I can help with the con artistry end of this plan, but I ain’t no gene-splicer.

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Mmm are we sure this isn’t an old Boss Nass toy that was out in the elements for a long time?

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it was new poo at the time, but then they buried it, as one does when they are done, you know, um…going.

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It’s been undiscovered all these decades as the door out was on the diagonal from where it was kept.

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Guinea%20Pig__stealing%20chess%20piece

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€ 1,126,602.41 at the time of writing.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, one has to declare a find to the local coroner. If it’s declared ‘Treasure’, one can qualify for a reward equivalent to the market value. Typically that’s split between the finder and the landowner.
In Scotland (entirely different legal jurisdiction!), it’s slightly different; I don’t know the details, other than in Scotland any find can be ‘Treasure Trove’, whereas in the rest of the UK, ‘Treasure’ is/contains metal.

There’s a ‘failure to declare’ being investigated in my region at present: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-48462460

That’s when one digs something up in a field, though. When one rediscovers something one purchased, that’s a different situation.

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I used to like playing chest… >.>

That would’ve made for a hell of an episode of Antiques Roadshow.

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There’s a good book on these things:

And a fun video from the British Museum’s Curator Corner series, with Irving Finkel (apparently these chess pieces make an appearance somewhere in a Harry Potter book or movie?):

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You beat me to the Mr. Finkel story!

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Depends.

After China sells all its US treasuries, will the new reserve currency be yuans or rubles?

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me too… it is a goodread.

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I knew Irving Finkel would turn up on this thread!

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