Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head of a Hunting Spear

Date:
1425–50
Culture:
German or Austrian
Medium:
Steel, copper alloy
Dimensions:
L. 17 5/16 in. (44 cm); W. 5 1/8 in. (13 cm)
Classification:
Shafted Weapons
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.321
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
Spearheads such as this one were used for hunting various types of large game, especially wild boar, deer, and bear. The protruding wings on either side of the base were intended to check the forward momentum of a charging animal, keeping it at a safe distance from the hunter. The fine brass inlay decorating the spearhead is a reminder that hunting was a favorite pastime of nobility during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, London and Goodrich Court (d. 1848); William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
New York. The Cloisters Museum & Gardens. "The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages," March 25–June 3, 1975.

Boccia, Lionello G. Il Museo Stibbert a Firenze: l'Armeria Europea. Vol. 3. Milan: Electa, 1975. pp. 148–49, no. 476, fig. 376a (a similar hunting spear illustrated and discussed).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., March 26 - June 3, 1975. p. 221, no. 234, ill.

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