The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Boar-spear
  • Boar-spear
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1580
  • Iron or steel, wood, velvet, copper and gold, etched and blackened
  • Length: 40.4 cm, including socket
    Weight: 2.3 kg
  • Inscription: Crowned 'H' and '3' surrounded by a laurel wreath
  • A933
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Spear or leading staff, with a pointed, leaf-shaped head of flattened diamond section, cusped at the base, the surface etched with worm-like scrollwork, white on a blackened ground enclosing a circular panel formed by a laurel wreath surrounding a monogram H crowned, and the figure 3, in addition there are two small medallions of classical heads and two lozenge-shaped reserves containing foliage resembling fleurs-de-lys; socket (round in section) etched with black scrollwork on a bright ground; the whole made in one piece. Red velvet tassel mounted on wood, bound and fringed with copper and gilt wire; modern staff bound with red velvet.

    French, about 1580.

    The 1962 Catalogue argued that the foliage in the reserves were fleur-de-lys and thus were an allusion to King Henri III of France. In 1986 the foliage was re-defined as 'resembling fleur-de-lys'; the supplement further stated that the crown is not that of France and that the style of etching very strongly suggests German manufacture.