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).
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Culture:Bohemian, probably Prague
Medium:Steel, copper alloy
Dimensions:L. 12 1/8 in. (30.7 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm); Wt. 18.2 oz. (517 g)
Classification:Archery Equipment-Arrows & Quivers
Credit Line:Rogers Fund,1966
Inscription: Inscribed on the obverse, left flange: ar (probably the monogram for albertus rex, or King Albert), mamyla (my dear, or my love; repeated twice encircling the top of the socket); on the right flange: warby woka (protect your eye), ae (probably the monogram for albertus elisabeth), t; on the reverse, left flange: x (monogram for Christ), ZdadZ bvo[h] (All hail, O God); on the right flange: s, marya pano (Virgin Mary; repeated twice on diagonal bands on the socket), m (monogram for marya, or Mary; repeated four times on diagonal bands on the socket).
Marking: Stamped with the so-called Turkish arsenal mark.
Ottoman Arsenal of Saint Irene, Istanbul; A. A. Lyster, Esq., England (until 1966; Arms and Armour sale, Sotheby & Co., London, November 7, 1966, no. 127, sold to MMA).
Prague. Prague Castle. "Charles IV, Emperor by the Grace of God: Culture and Art in the Reign of the Last of the Luxembourgs 1347–1437," February 16–May 21, 2005, no. 15.8.3.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Charles IV, Emperor by the Grace of God: Culture and Art in the Reign of the Last of the Luxembourgs 1347–1437," September 19, 2005–January 3, 2006, no. 15.8.3.
Budapest. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. "Sigismundus – Rex et Imperator, Art and Culture During the Time of Sigismund of Luxembourg, 1387–1437," March 18–June 18, 2006, no. 5.9.
Luxembourg. Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art Luxembourg. "Sigismundus – Rex et Imperator, Art and Culture During the Time of Sigismund of Luxembourg, 1387–1437," July 13–October 15, 2006, no. 5.9.
Lenz, Eduard von. "Arsenalzeichen oder Beschau?." Zeitschrift für historische Waffenkunde, Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 6 pp. 299–303, ill.
Kalmár, Johannes von. "Pfeilspitzen als Würdezeichen." Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen– und Kostümkunde, Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 15, n.s.v. 6 pp. 218–21 (similar arrowheads ill.).
Kalmár, János. "Armbrust-Pfeilspitzen als Rangabzeichen." Folia Archaeologica (1957), pp. 153–66, ill.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ninety-Seventh Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Fiscal Year 1966–1967." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin p. 53, ill.
Nickel, Helmut. "Ceremonial Arrowheads from Bohemia." Metropolitan Museum Journal 1 pp. 61–93, figs. 1-2, 4-5.
Nickel, Helmut. "Böhmische Prunkpfeilspitzen." Sborník Národního musea v Praze, (1969), pp. 102–63, figs. 1-2, 4.
Nickel, Helmut. "Addenda to "Ceremonial Arrowheads from Bohemia." Metropolitan Museum Journal (1971), pp. 179–81.
Eisler, J., and János Kalmár. "Zu den Fragen der Beinsattel des Ungarischen Nationalmuseums." Folia Archaeologica 28, part I pp. 153–66, ill.
Nickel, Helmut, Stuart W. Pyhrr, Leonid Tarassuk, and David G. Alexander. "Arms and Armor." Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1984), p. 20.
Nickel, Helmut, and Stuart W. Pyhrr. "Arms and Armor." Recent Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1988), p. 23.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 1991), pp. 34–35, 64, ill.
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. 156a, ill.
Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, eds. 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: Správa Pražského hradu, 2006. pp. 114–15, no. 15.8.3, 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. 47a, fig. 6.6.
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