Object Title

Box spur

Box spur



Object Number

VI.440 D


Purchased 4 July 1982 with VI.439 and VI.441. Formerly sold Sotheby's 20 July 1970, Lot 198.

Physical Description

Swan-necked copper alloy box-spur. Fittted with thirty two pointed rowel. Fitted with a prong and spring for insertion into heel of boot.

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped on the top surface LEFT.


Places England


Valued as a boxed set with VI.440 A This sete of spurs belonged to Sir Garnet Wolseley, 1ST Viscount Wolseley (1833-1913). The box-spur was invented c.1820 by H Maxwell, but the design was not patented, and was adopted by other spur makers; see his Patent Specification for the improvement in Spring Spur Sockets No.5684 of 1828. The sockets or boxes in the heels gave rise to the term box-spur. The earliest box-spurs frequently had false screw heads at their terminals; before their invention, spurs were screwed tothe heels (cf VI-440 C-D). Sideless spurs (vi.440 A-B) were convenient for use when visiting, as they could be removed before entry into a house and kept in the wearer's pocket. Compare VI.439.