Ceremonial Arrowhead

Bohemian, probably Prague

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), and also the monogram AE, probably for Albert and Elizabeth, his queen. It is also stamped with the so-called Turkish arsenal mark, indicating that it was captured by Ottoman forces, perhaps in the campaign of 1439 in which Albert was killed, and was subsequently stored in the Turkish arsenal in Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Ceremonial Arrowhead, Steel, copper alloy, Bohemian, probably Prague

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