The 3 1/2-inch (8.8-centimeter) Lewis Chessman sold to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby's in London on Tuesday.
The Lewis Chessmen are intricate, expressive chess pieces in the form of Norse warriors, carved from walrus ivory in the 12th century.
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A hoard of dozens of pieces, amounting to four chess sets, was discovered in 1831 on Scotland's Isle of Lewis - but five of the pieces were missing.
The Sotheby's piece, the equivalent of a rook, is the first missing chessman to be identified. Only 93 pieces like this one have been found.
According to Sotheby's, experts believe it was carved between the late 12th and early 13th centuries in Norway.
An antiques dealer bought the medieval piece for $6 in Scotland in 1964 and kept it in a drawer for 55 years. It was passed down to his family before being identified as a Lewis figure.
CNN contributed to this story.
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