Head of a Hunting Spear

Date: 1425–50

Culture: German or Austrian

Medium: Steel, copper alloy

Dimensions: L. 17 5/16 in. (44 cm); W. 5 1/8 in. (13 cm)

Classification: Shafted Weapons

Credit Line: Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913

Accession Number: 14.25.321


Spearheads such as this one were used for hunting various types of large game, especially wild boar, deer, and bear. The protruding wings on either side of the base were intended to check the forward momentum of a charging animal, keeping it at a safe distance from the hunter. The fine brass inlay decorating the spearhead is a reminder that hunting was a favorite pastime of nobility during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.