Prick Spur

possibly Roman or Celtic

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 370

Spurs have been found in Celtic and Greek contexts from the 5th century B.C. onwards. In high antiquity, they were not used in pairs, but rather as a single accessory attached to only one of the feet, usually on the left. The first pairs are recorded in some Greek regions in the late 2nd century B.C. They were used, as they are today, for directing a horse to move forwards. The prick spur was the first type of spur to be invented, and it consists of a goad or prick, more or less pointed, connected to side arms or a heel plate. The earliest spurs were probably simple thorns attached at the back of the heel or ankle, before they began to be made out of metal.

Prick Spur, Copper alloy (bronze), possibly Roman or Celtic

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