Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ceremonial Arrowhead

Date:
1437–39
Geography:
probably Prague
Culture:
Bohemian, probably Prague
Medium:
Steel, copper alloy
Dimensions:
L. 12 9/16 in. (31.9 cm); W. 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm); Wt. 28.1 oz. (797 g)
Classification:
Archery Equipment-Arrows & Quivers
Credit Line:
Purchase, David and Dorothy Alexander and Mrs. Ridgeley Hunt Gifts, Bequest of Stephen V. Grancsay, by exchange, and funds from various donors, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.17
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
Originally mounted on a wooden shaft, this extremely large arrowhead probably served as a symbol of rank or a baton of command. It is decorated with royal Bohemian monograms and badges in addition to religious invocations in medieval Czech. It bears the monogram AR for Albert, king of Bohemia and Hungary (reigned 1437–39).
Inscription: Inscribed on obverse, right flange: ar (probably the monogram for albertus rex, or King Albert), m (monogram for marya, or Mary); on reverse: S (reversed; probably a scroll, possibly a monogram) with pane bozy sanse[y ... kly racys(?)] amen (O Lord God [indecipherable] Amen); on the left flange: y (monogram for yhesus, or Jesus); on the right flange: r(?) (perhaps the monogram for rex, or king).
Castle Engelstein, near Weitra, Austria; Archduke Eugen, Veste Hohenwerfen, near Salzburg; Clarence H. Mackay, Rosylen, New York[Eric Vaule, Bridgewater, Conn., until 1984; sold to MMA].
Prague. Prague Castle Administration. "Charles IV, Emperor by the Grace of God," February 16, 2006–May 21, 2006.

Boeheim, Wendelin. "Fachliche Notizen." Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde 1 (1898). p. 213 (collection of Archduke Eugen discussed, which included this arrowhead).

Bohlmann, Robert, Wendelin Boeheim, Eduard von Lenz, and O. v. Hortstein. "Die Braunschweigischen Waffen auf Schloss Blankenburg am Harz." Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde 6 (1914). p. 213 (collection of Engelstein Castle discussed, which included this arrowhead).

Anderson Galleries. The Great Historical Collection of Arms & Armour: The Entire Contents of the Armoury, Fortress Hohenwerfen Near Salzburg, Austria, Inherited & Augmented by H. I. & R. H. Archduke Eugen, F. M.. New York: Anderson Galleries, March 1–5, 1927. p. 134, lot. 800, ill.

Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, August 3 to September 27, 1931. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931. p. 115, no. 512 (called a "hunting spear, Italian, 1500," lent by Clarence H. Mackay).

Kalmár, János, and Erich Haenel. "Pfeilspitzen als Würdeabzeichen." Zeitschrift für historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde 15 (n.s.v. 6) (1937). pp. 218–21 (similar arrowheads illustrated).

Nickel, Helmut. "Ceremonial Arrowheads from Bohemia." Metropolitan Museum Journal 1 (1968). pp. 61–90.

Nickel, Helmut. "Böhmische Prunkpfeilspitzen." Sborník Národního musea v Praze, Series A – Historie, XXIII [23], no. 3 (1969). pp. 102-163, no. 3.

Nickel, Helmut, Stuart W. Pyhrr, Leonid Tarassuk, and David G. Alexander. "Arms and Armor." Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1984). pp. 20–21, ill.

Nickel, Helmut, and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "Arms and Armor." Recent Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1988). p. 23.

Dolínek, Vladimír, and Jan Durdík. The Encyclopedia of European Historical Weapons. London: Hamlyn, 1993. p. 172, fig. 202 (a similar arrowhead).

Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Jiri Fajt. Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347–1437, edited by Barbara Drake Boehm, and Jiri Fajt. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. pp. 323–24, no. 156b, ill.

Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. Karel IV., Císař Boží Milosti: Kultura a Umění za Vlády Posledních Lucemburků 1347–1437 (Charles IV, Emperor by the Grace of God: Culture and Art in the Reign of the Last of the Luxembourgs 1347–1437). Prague: Prague Castle Administration, 2006. pp. 114–15, no. 15.8.1, ill.

Zsombor Jekely, Szilárd Papp, and Györgyi Poszler. Sigismundus Rex et Imperator: Kunst und Kultur zur Zeit Sigismunds von Luxemburg, 1387–1437, edited by Dr. Imre Takács, Chief Curator, Szépmuvészeti Múzeum. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 2006. pp. 446–47, no. 5.9, ill.

Breiding, Dirk H. A Deadly Art: European Crossbows, 1250–1850. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. pp. 126–29, no. 47b, ill.



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