Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of Rowel Spurs

ca. 1350
French or Italian
Copper alloy, enamel, gold, glass, glass paste
L. 5 1/4 in. (13.34 cm); spread of sides, 3 1/2 in. (8.89 cm); Wt. 6 oz. (170.1 g)
Equestrian Equipment-Spurs
Credit Line:
Gift of Amory S. Carhart, in memory of his father, Amory S. Carhart, 1926
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
This very decorative pair of spurs was probably used during parades or other ceremonial purposes.Their pierced decoration consists of alternated trefoils and quatrefoils. On the external side of the left spur, a rosette bears an enameled shield bearing the arms of an unidentified family (the rosette is missing on the right spur). Each rowel is adorned with a glass cabochon in its center.

This pair of spurs was said to have belonged to a member of the French family de Goth (Or, 3 fasces Gules), but this shield actually bears a border Gules (red) that does not match with this identification. Its so-said provenance from a tomb of the now demolished collegiate church of Villandraut, France, unfortunately cannot be proved. The decoration of these spurs is also close to 14th-century Italian examples.
Marking: In the left arm of the left spur: heraldic shield bearing three fasces on a field within a red border
Louisville, Ky. J. B. Speed Art Museum. "A Loan Exhibition of Equestrian Equipment from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 4–July 3, 1955, no. 78.

Brutails, J.A. "Note Sur une Paire d'Epérons du XIVe Siècle." Bulletin Archéologique du Comité des Travaux Historiques et Scientifiques, pp. 392-393 (described), pl. XIV (ill. one spur; drawing).

Dean, Bashford, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, February the Sixth to April the Sixteenth. New York: Gilliss Press, 1911. p. 50, no. 110, pl. XXXVI (one spur).

Dean, Bashford. "Early Gothic Spurs." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21, no. 5 pp. 129-130; ill. (one spur).

Grancsay, Stephen V. A Loan Exhibition of Equestrian Equipment from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue. Louisville, Ky.: Speed Art Museum, 1955. no. 78, ill.

Boccia, Lionello G., and Museo Civico Medievale di Bologna. L'Armeria del Museo Civico Medievale di Bologna. Busto Arsizio, Italy: Bramante Editrice, 1991. p. 102, no. 189.

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