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Rowel spur

  • Place of origin:

    Europe (made)

  • Date:

    16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Russetted iron and silver

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh

  • 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

Russetted iron rowel spur encrusted with silver

Place of Origin

Europe (made)


16th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Russetted iron and silver


Length: 4.87 in

Descriptive line

Russetted iron, encrusted with silver, Europe, 16th 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




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


Metalwork Collection

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