Art/ Collection/ Art Object


1200–800 B.C.
Bronze Age
Copper alloy
Overall: 15 9/16 x 2 3/8in. (39.5 x 6.1cm)
wood: 5 1/8in. (13cm)
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Gift of Peter Sharrer, 1998
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
This spearhead represents the highest tradition of the British Bronze Age. The piece is undeniably beautiful: its shape is elegant and spare to the point of evoking modern art. The socket of the spearhead is hollow and includes two peg holes. These would allow the shaft of the spear to be replaced often without undue difficulty; a possession such as this would be much too valuable not to use again and again. When given to the Museum, there was in fact a small section of wood still remaining inside.

The spearhead almost certainly comes from the Selbourne/Blackmoor hoard of Bronze Age objects, found in the nineteenth century in Hampshire. The hoard was acquired by two great nineteenth-century collectors: first by the antiquarian George Roots, and then by General A. H. Pitt-Rivers, an omnivorous collector especially interested in British objects and also a renowned archaeologist.
Found in Hampshire, England; George Roots, London; [his sale, Christie's, London( April 20, 1891, lot 33)]; Lt. General Augustus Pitt Rivers, Farnham, Dorset, England (1891-?); [ Alistair McAlpine, London (1987)]; Peter Sharrer, New York (until 1998)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1998-1999." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57, no. 2 (Fall 1999). p. 14.

Related Objects

Stone Mason's Chisel

Artist: Date: ca. 2051–2000 B.C.
Accession Number: 27.3.12
Date: ca. 2051–2000 B.C. Medium: Hammered bronze or copper alloy Accession: 27.3.12 On view in:Gallery 109

Lamp or Censer

Artist: Date: 14th century
Accession Number: 17.190.827
Date: 14th century Medium: Gilt-copper alloy, silver, enamel en ronde bosse, rock crystal Accession: 17.190.827 On view in:Gallery 306

Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense)

Artist: Date: late 15th–early 17th century
Accession Number: 2004.402
Date: late 15th–early 17th century Medium: Iron, leather, gold, silver, brass or copper alloy, textile Accession: 2004.402 On view in:Not on view

Aquamanile in the Form of Aristotle and Phyllis

Artist: Date: late 14th or early 15th century
Accession Number: 1975.1.1416
Date: late 14th or early 15th century Medium: Bronze; Quaternary copper alloy (approx. 72% copper, approx. 17% zinc, approx. 6% lead, approx. 3% tin). Accession: 1975.1.1416 On view in:Gallery 958

Attachment for a Strap

Artist: Date: 100–300
Accession Number: 2002.483.10
Date: 100–300 Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 2002.483.10 On view in:Gallery 301