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Sunday at the Met: Major Additions to The Cloisters Collection

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Spearhead

Date:
1200–800 B.C.
Culture:
Bronze Age
Medium:
Copper alloy
Dimensions:
Overall: 15 9/16 x 2 3/8in. (39.5 x 6.1cm) wood: 5 1/8in. (13cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Gift of Peter Sharrer, 1998
Accession Number:
1998.540.1
  • Description

    This spearhead represents the highest tradition of the British Bronze Age. The piece is undeniably beautiful: its shape is elegant and spare to the point of evoking modern art. The raised rib in the middle, which also outlines the half-moon or lunette openings, may have been designed as a blood channel. The socket of the spearhead is hollow and includes two pegholes. These would allow the shaft of the spear to be replaced often without undue difficulty; a possession such as this would be much too valuable not to use again and again. When given to the Museum, there was in fact a small section of wood still remaining inside.

  • Provenance

    Found in Hampshire, England; George Roots (1807–1891), London; [his sale, Christie's, London( April 20, 1891, lot 33)]; Lt. General Augustus Pitt Rivers (1827–1900), Farnham, Dorset, England (1891-?); [ Alistair McAlpine, London (1987)]; Peter Sharrer, New York (until 1998)

  • See also
    What
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
470329

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