The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Boar-spear
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Milan, Italy
  • c. 1590 - c. 1600
  • Iron or steel, gold and velvet, overlaid, blackened and gilded
  • Length: 29 cm, blade
    Weight: 1.97 kg
  • A937
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Boar spear, with a leaf-shaped of flattened diamond section, set between narrow curved branches, serrated on the inner edge; socket of circular section fluted and roped. It is richly decorated on both sides in gold on a blackened ground with the arms of a duke of Parma of the House of Farnese, probably Ranuccio I (who reigned from 1592 until 1622), before his election to the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1601, rather than, as Meyrick suggests, his father and predecessor, the great Alessandro Farnese (d. 1592), who received the order in 1586 (the year before his accession to the dukedom of Parma).
    The quarterings include the escutcheon of Portugal, added to the Farnese arms Alessandro in right of his wife, Mary of Portugal, and also the insignia of the Gonfaloniership of the Holy Roman Church, conferred upon Ranuccio I, in succession in gold with trophies of arms and small leaves and flowers. At the base of the branches on either side of the socket is a horse's head in relief, the flutings gilt; the staff covered with red velvet, is modern.

    Italian (Milanese), about 1590-1600.

    Skelton II, pl. LXXXVIII; Meyrick Catalogue, no. 745.

    Provenance: Sir. S. R. Meyrick; Frédéric Spitzer.