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An unusually large mezraq spearhead

Number

3049

Origin

Iran

Time

Early 19th century

Technique

Forging, chiseling, damascening

Material

Steel, gold

Dimensions

Overall length 645 mm; blade length 395 mm

The steel spearhead consists of a conical socket and a broad blade divided into two wavy prongs of flattened diamond section that are slightly curved in opposite directions. The base of the blade is chiseled on each side with flower heads and foliage surrounding a central multangular cartouche, all within gold koftgari linear frames. Both ends of the socket are ornamented in the same technique with gold palmettes connected by thin gold lines. The rounded knob between the socket and the blade is decorated with gold flowers. 

COMMENT. Mezraq is the Iranian short spear with a two-pronged or three-pronged spearhead. In Western literature, it is often referred to as "combat fork" or "combat trident". Such spears were convenient for capturing enemy weapons in close combat. The special kind of two-pronged spear is known as durbash, which means "to be distant" in Persian. The guards carried such spears in front of the ruler to keep the crowd at a safe distance. The durbash spearheads were often decorated with with precious stones to accentuate their great importance. 

LITERATURE: Сиваченко Е. Сталь и Золото: Восточное оружие из собрания Feldman Family Museum = Steel and Gold: Eastern Weapons from the Feldman Family Museum Collection. – Киев, 2019. – С. 266-267, №95.