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Gaming Board, Knossos

Dimension 0.965 m x 0.553 m

Irakleion Archaeological Museum

" Its framework was of ivory, which had originally been overlaid with thin gold plate, and it was covered with a mosaic of strips and discs of rock-crystal, which in their turn had been backed alternately with silver and blue enamel paste. Round its margin ran a border of marguerites whose central bosses were convex discs of rock-crystal which had probably been set originally in a blue paste background. At the top of the board were four beautiful reliefs representing nautilus shells, set round with crystal plaques, and bossed with crystal. Below them came four large medallions, set among crystal bars backed with silver plate, and then eleven bars of ribbed crystal and ivory, alternating with one another. Eight shorter bars of crystal backed with blue enamel fill spaces on either side of the topmost section in the lower part of the board, which consists of a two-winged compartment with ten circular openings, the medallions of which have been broken out, but were probably of crystal backed with silver. The remaining space of the board was filled with flat bars of gold-plated ivory alternating with bars of crystal on the blue enamel setting. The mere summary of its decoration conveys no idea of the splendour of a piece of work which, as Professor Burrows says, 'defies description, with its blaze of gold and silver, ivory and crystal.' The Late Minoan monarch who used it— for so gorgeous a piece of workmanship can scarcely have been designed for anyone but a King—must have been as splendid in his amusements as in all the other appointments of his royalty " James Baikie

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