Object Title

Spear

Spear

Date

1501-1530

Object Number

VII.1

Provenance

Not recorded in IBE. Presumably Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

Broad, leaf-shaped hollow blade. Blade has re-inforced point. The short socket extends into the base of the blade and continues to the point as a pronounced medial rib giving the blade a flat, hollow-diamond section. Modern haft.

Dimensions

HeadLength17.9in.
HeadLength455mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped
Heart and T mark
On each face of blade

Associations

Places Europe

Bibliographic References

Charles ffoulkes, Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London, 2 vols, London, 1916, vol. II, p. 221 (one entry covering VII.1-VII.45; and another covering VII.46-VII.71).

Notes

ffoulkes (1916) describes these spears as 'Military Boar Spears' and says 'They are probably the weapons carried by 'The King's Spears', the Royal Bodyguard - enrolled by Henry VIII, which at a later date became the Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms.'. He identified the following entries as referring to them:
'1547 Bore spears wt. asshen staves trymed wt lether - iiii^Txx' xv.
'1676 Boar Spears, Spanish - 196.
'1688 (Valuation) Spanish Boar Spears - 201 at 5's'. a pce.'




The following general information on these spears is taken from a note at the front of the first Typed Inventory (IBE) volume.
Hollow Spears
Spears with leaf-shaped blades and short sockets. The socket extends into the blade and continues to the point as a pronounced medial rib. The point itself is reinforced. The blade section is hollow - presumably made over a mandrel and hammer welded. All but 3 have wooden hafts, the exceptions Nos. 5, 28, and 31, all of which have evidence of spiral leather binding and below socket traces of fabric (? from a tassel). They can be classified according to their decoration and marks; it is noteworthy that, with almost no exceptions, a particular decorative type always has the same mark. The marks on the decorated spears are all of 'cog wheel' type, with either 7 or 8 teeth. The etching was gilt, but this is now mostly lost.


Types
A (now redesignated A0) The lower 1/3 of the blade bears an etched rose, set within a shield-like frame (formed by following the contours of the blade). The frame is surmounted by a debased form of mantling. The mark, normally on both sides, is a cog of 7 teeth. 19 of these so far recorded, of which 2 have no marks.


A1 Similar, except that the rose is set in truncated shield frame (ie. lower 1/3 of shield is removed) and frame is surmounted by engrailed band instead of mantling. The mark is a cog of 8 teeth. There are 3 varients: 17 and 46 have an elongated, almost shield-shaped frame, and 17 appears to have a 7 toothed cog (imperfect stamp). 36 etching against a hatched ground. 13 examples so far recorded.


A2 Etched rose set above sprig of oak leaves, in shield frame, and with hatched ground. Engrailed band above and 7 toothed cog mark. 14 so far recorded.


A3 Not etched. Mark of heart and T mark. Eight so far recorded.


Marks
A0 Etched rose in shield with mantling. 7pt. cog.
A1 Etched rose in double line frame, engrailed band, 8pt. cog.
A2 Etched rose in shield, above oak leaves, on hatched ground, engrailed band. 7pb. cog.
A3 Plain heart with T mark.


Variants marked *
Type A: VII.3; 4; 6; 7; 12; 19; 20; 21; 22; 24; 27; 31; 34; 35; 39; 43; 45; 49*; 51*
Type A1: VII.5; 13; 16; 17*; 18; 28; 30; 36*; 37; 41; 44; 46; 52
Type A2: VII.9; 15; 23; 26; 29; 32; 33; 38; 40; 42; 47; 48; 55; 1258; 1675
Type A3: VII.1; 2; 116; 1256; 1257; 1259; 1327; 1328.
Further examples of Type As have since been identified but have yet to be incorporated here: see list of Henrician weapons prepared by PJL (which is periocically updated). In some cases the idnentification needs to be confirmed or the sub-type has yet to be identified.