Item: es988

16th C. Polish Spear Lance or Pike Ex. George Cameron Stone Collection


  • Period 17th century
  • Culture Poland
  • Materials Iron, wood
  • Overall length 90"


A rare find and with exceptional provenance. This is a 16th C. Polish pike with razor sharp side blades and a qudrangular shaped spearhead in iron. This exact piece is pictured in Stone's A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times: Together with Some Closely Related Subjects see page 500 ex. #4. It is rare to find Polish items of that period and even more so those with impeccable provenance. This example was purchased in 1972 in a Metropolitan Museum de-accesion.

This example would have been one of the Hussaria spear pikes used in their infamous charges against the Russian Tsarist armies, the Ottoman Turk in their battles in southern Poland and Northern Hungary. The 'kopia' lance was the main offensive weapon of the hussar. The lances were based on the Balkan and, finally, Hungarian lances, but Polish lances were longer and, like their predecessors from the Balkans and Western Europe, they were hollowed, with two halves glued together and painted, and were often richly gilded. They were commonly made from fir-wood, with the lance point being made from forged steel. They had a gałka large wooden ball which served as the handle guard. The hussar's lances usually ranged from 4.5 to 6.2 metres in length and were provided by the King or the banner's owner, not by the regular soldiers. A large 'silk'/taffeta proporzec pennon was attached to the lance below the point. Another type of lance, known as the demi-lance or kopijka, was used and could have been 3 to 3.6 metres long and was used against the Tatars and Turks in late-17th-century wars. The pole on this example is likely later to the 1600s but otherwise a truly interesting historical example with superb provenance.

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