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Pair of rowel spurs

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chiselled and blued iron

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

At a time when people travelled long distances on horseback, spurs were an important and necessary accessory. They were designed to fit round the heel of a boot and were held by a strap and buckle which passed over the foot. The manufacture of spurs was a specialist craft, the makers being known as 'spurriers'.

This type, with revolving spiked wheels that pressed into the flanks of the horse, was known as a rowel spur. It was first developed in the late Middle Ages. Some rowel spurs are elaborate showpieces with more than a dozen revolving spiked wheels.

Physical description

Chiselled and blued iron, each spur has five eight-armed rowels with smaller rowels of eight points at the end of each arm.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Chiselled and blued iron

Historical context note

The multiple rowels are non-functional, which suggests this may be a spur-maker's exhibition piece.

Descriptive line

Chiselled and blued iron, Germany, 19th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Charles de Lacy, The History of the Spur , The Connoisseur, 1911
Charles Chenevix Trench, A History of Horsemanship, Longman, 1970

Production Note

In the 15th century style




Forging; Blued; Chiselled


Arms & Armour; Accessories; Fashion; Tools & Equipment; Metalwork; Transport; Animals and Wildlife; Equestrian equipment


Metalwork Collection

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