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Queen Chess Piece

13th century


Few medieval pieces in the form of bishops, kings or queens have survived to this day. The queen was one of the key contributions of medieval Europe to the game of chess as it is known today. Beginning in the twelfth century, queens gradually replaced viziers (male advisors to the king) in the Islamic and Persian chess tradition. The queen, seated on a horse and ready for battle, is surrounded by her retinue; some members of the group ask for her help.

This exhibit is on display at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 307.