During the Middle Ages, spurs were one of the symbols of knighthood. As part of the knighthood ceremony, an established knight would place spurs on the new knight and gird on his sword. The former would then declare that the latter was now a knight, being considered to have “won his spurs”. Spurs with a rowel, such as this fine example, gained popularity in the fourteenth century, when they replaced the ‘prick spur’ –referring to the point (‘prick’) at the end of the neck.
Medieval Rowel Spur
A medieval rowel spur made from hand-forged wrought iron. It features a curved, U-shaped heel-band of substantial width and pierced terminals for straps, though one of these is incomplete. The body of the spur flares upwards a little above the neck, and the arms are slightly curved to pass below the rider’s ankle. The neck of the spur is straight and takes the form of two branches, attached to which is a rowel with radiating points, remarkably intact and still able to rotate.
Condition: Fine condition, cleaned and conserved; rowels in particularly good condition. Small section of one terminal is missing.