Three Ceremonial Arrowheads

Bohemian, probably Prague

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373

Originally mounted on wooden shafts, these extremely large arrowheads probably served as symbols of rank or batons of command. They are decorated with royal Bohemian monograms and badges in addition to religious invocations in medieval Czech. All three bear the monogram AR for Albert, king of Bohemia and Hungary (reigned 1437–39). In one instance (66.199), there is also the monogram AE, probably for Albert and Elizabeth, his queen. The right and left arrowheads are stamped with the so-called Turkish arsenal mark, indicating that they were captured by Ottoman forces, perhaps in the campaign of 1439 in which Albert was killed, and were subsequently stored in the Turkish arsenal in Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Three Ceremonial Arrowheads, Steel, copper alloy, Bohemian, probably Prague

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