National Museum of Scotland Lewis Chessmen Chess set 

Discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis but dating back to the 12th Century, the Lewis Chessmen recall a time of feuding Viking lords. We developed packaging for a replica chess set that is one of the National Museum of Scotland’s most popular gifts

NMS-Lewis Chessmen-box-msp

Our long-standing customer, the National Museum of Scotland, were looking for a gift box to present an exquisite gift set comprising re-modeled replicas of the iconic Lewis Chessmen. The original pieces, formed from walrus ivory and whales’ teeth, are believed to have been made in Trondheim, Norway, around 1150-1200 AD, although this claim has been challenged by two Icelandic chess enthusiasts. 

The original pieces are on show at both the National Museum of Scotland and the British Museum. The ultimate gift for a chess lover, historian or collector, there needed to be an element of contextual simplicity in the design whilst providing the premium quality necessary to package a treasured gift.

Rather than look to a vacuum-formed insert, we felt the design demanded something more deferential and we looked beyond the world of standard luxury packaging and instead explored high-end component shipping. We worked with a leading UK based polyethylene foam fabrication specialist to produce an insert formed of water-jet cut layers of foam. 

The outer box was completed using premium Winter & Co Wibalin Embossed board and this was elegantly finished with metallic silver foil blocking to complete the design in a historically and contextually relevant way.

NMS-Lewis Chessmen pieces-msp

We enjoy the challenge of working on diverse packaging ideas that require multiple components and having a chance to take a historical journey as part of our inspiration gave us a truly memorable experience on this project.

Curious to read more about this historical chess set, read more here -https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore/collections-stories/scottish-history-and-archaeology/lewis-chessmen/

Project Feedback

“We were delighted with the work done by Meridian to produce a fantastic gift set which befits the simple beauty and mystery of the replica Lewis chess pieces. They are now one of National Museums Scotland’s most popular gifts”

Helen Osmani- National Museums of Scotland

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