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Spearhead: O.42-1879

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Maker: Unknown




Large steel triangular blade with a very thick reinforced point, running into a triangular medial rib with a V formed by single incised lines at the base. There is evidence of a brazed join between the blade and the socket, which is plain except for two double incised lines in the region of the brazed join by the blade, and two more with a flared rim at the base. There is a hint of a brazed join down one side. The steel is pitted where is has been heavily corroded then polished bright. A fragment of the original wooden haft survives inside the socket


History note: Probably from the Tanjore armoury, broken up in 1860 (see documentation Elgood 2004)

Legal notes

Given by Robert Taylor, MA

Measurements and weight

Blade Length: 30 cm
Blade Width Max: 7.6 cm
Overall Length: 47 cm
Weight: 645 g

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1879) by Taylor, Robert, MA


15th Century#
Circa 1400 CE - 1500 CE


Robert Taylor, who collected this spear head in India and gave it the museum, said that it would have been attached to a bamboo pole, 14 feet long (4.2 metres), and used to attack riders on elephants.

Components of the work

Blade composed of steel

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 42
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Tag

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: O.42-1879
Primary reference Number: 158350
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 12 May 2021 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Spearhead" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-11-29 02:37:06

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Spearhead |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-11-29 02:37:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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