In the world of historical weaponry, few categories evoke the same sense of awe and fascination as spears. These long-reaching, versatile weapons have played pivotal roles throughout human history, from the battlefields of ancient civilizations to the knightly clashes of the Middle Ages. The allure of spears lies not only in their historical significance but also in their craftsmanship and design.
As collectors and enthusiasts seek to acquire authentic pieces of the past, the search for spears for sale becomes an exciting journey into martial history. In this article, we’ll delve into the realm of spears, exploring their diverse forms and functions, and guide you on where to find these authentic historical weapons.
What is a Spear?
A spear is a versatile pole weapon with a long shaft, typically crafted from wood, and a pointed head. The head of a spear can vary in material, ranging from a sharpened end of the shaft itself, as seen in fire-hardened spears, to more durable materials like bone, flint, obsidian, copper, bronze, iron, or steel, securely fastened to the shaft.
The design of a spearhead can take on various shapes, including triangles, lozenges, or leaf-like structures, making it suitable for hunting or warfare. Fishing spears often feature multiple sharp points, some with barbs to catch fish effectively.
The word “spear” has its origins in the Old English “spere,” tracing back to the Proto-Germanic “speri” and an even older Proto-Indo-European root, “*sper-,” which means “spear” or “pole.” Spears can be categorized into two primary types: those designed for thrusting in close combat (referred to as lances or pikes) and those intended for throwing as ranged weapons (referred to as darts or javelins).
The spear has played a pivotal role throughout human history, serving both as a tool for hunting and fishing and as a weapon for self-defense and warfare. Its early development by early humans, alongside tools like clubs, knives, and axes, makes it one of the earliest and most widespread implements created by our ancestors. In combat, it can be wielded with either one hand or two.
Notably, the spear has a historical legacy that extends into modern times. Bayonets, which are blades attached to the muzzle of long guns, continue to carry on the spear’s concept in modern warfare.
Interestingly, the practice of spear manufacture and use is not unique to humans; it has also been observed in western chimpanzees. These primates fashion spears from tree limbs, stripping them of bark and side branches, and sharpening one end with their teeth. They use these improvised tools to hunt small animals like galagos.
Archaeological finds, such as the Clacton Spear in England and the Schöningen spears in present-day Germany, indicate that wooden spears have been used for hunting for at least 400,000 years.
In 2012, a discovery in South Africa suggested that early hominids, possibly Homo heidelbergensis, may have developed the technology of hafted stone-tipped spears around 500,000 years ago. The use of wood as a material for spears likely predates these findings, as wood does not preserve well.
During the Middle Paleolithic period (circa 200,000 BC onwards), early humans began crafting stone blades with flaked edges that served as spearheads. These stone heads could be attached to spear shafts using various methods, such as gum, resin, animal sinew, leather strips, or plant matter.
This period marked the distinction between spears designed for thrusting and those designed for throwing. By the Magdalenian period (c. 15,000–9500 BC), spear-throwers similar to later atlatls came into use.
In literature and historical texts, the spear is prominently featured. For example, in Homer’s Iliad, both single-thrusting spears and throwing spears are mentioned, representing different combat styles from different periods. The ancient Greeks developed the phalanx formation in the 7th century BC, with hoplites equipped with large shields and long spears. The hoplite phalanx became a dominant military formation among Greek city-states.
Notable developments occurred in the 4th century BC, including the use of peltasts (light infantry armed with spears and javelins) and the introduction of the sarissa, an 18-foot-long two-handed pike, by the Macedonians. The pike phalanx, supported by peltasts and cavalry, became the dominant mode of Greek warfare until the rise of the Roman legions.
In the pre-Marian Roman armies, soldiers were armed with weapons like the gladius (sword) and pila (javelins). The hastati and principes initially used a short spear called the hasta, which later fell out of use, while the triarii continued to employ the hasta.
Over time, the pilum became the standard Roman legionary spear, until the 2nd century AD when legionaries began using other forms of throwing and thrusting spears. By the 4th century AD, the pilum had faded from common use.
During the late Roman Empire, the spear regained popularity due to its effectiveness against cavalry, as many barbarian invasions relied heavily on cavalry forces.
In the medieval period, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the spear remained a popular weapon across Western European cultures. It was an economical choice for soldiers, requiring less steel than swords and being quick to manufacture.
The Vikings, for example, primarily used spears. As time passed, spears evolved into lances, which eventually led to the depiction of knights with lances in the context of jousting.
Medieval spears were categorized into those designed for melee combat and those for throwing. They featured various head shapes, with most being leaf-shaped. Specialized types like the angon and the winged (or lugged) spear emerged. The thrusting spear’s long reach made it a preferred weapon, especially in tightly ordered formations like the shield wall or schiltron. To counter cavalry charges, spear shafts were planted into the ground as a defensive tactic.
Throwing spears gradually became less common in the later Middle Ages but persisted among specialists like the Catalan Almogavars. They were also used in Ireland until the end of the 16th century. During this time, the spear started to lose favor among infantry soldiers, giving way to pole weapons that combined thrusting and cutting capabilities, such as the halberd.
In cavalry combat, the spear’s use transformed with the advent of stirrups and high-cantled saddles in the 12th century. Knights would secure the lance with one hand and tuck it under their armpit, allowing them to focus the momentum of both horse and rider on the spear’s tip while retaining control and accuracy.
This technique contributed to the development of the lance as a distinct weapon, particularly in the context of jousting. In the 14th century, as knights increasingly fought on foot, the lance was shortened for easier handling. Specialist pole weapons like the poleaxe became popular among dismounted knights, leading to the reduced use of the lance in such scenarios.
Throughout history, spears have remained valuable tools for hunting game and fishing, often adapted for specific prey, such as mammoths in early human history. The inclusion of bars or crossbars on some spears helped control penetration into animals, and these variations became known as barred spears.
Today, the use of the spear endures in various forms, such as the javelin, harpoon, and trident, for both practical purposes like hunting and fishing and cultural activities. The spear’s long and storied history attests to its enduring significance in human civilization.
Where Can I Find Spears for Sale?
Kult of Athena
The Red Viper’s Spear
- Signature Spear of Oberyn Martell: The Red Viper’s Spear is an officially licensed collectible, faithfully reproducing Oberyn Martell’s iconic weapon from HBO’s Game of Thrones.
- Limited Edition: With only 2,500 individually numbered pieces produced, this high-quality collectible is a rare find for Game of Thrones enthusiasts and collectors.
- Intricate Design: The spear features a polished stainless steel blade adorned with a sinuous serpent motif, an antiqued copper finish, and a wood haft with an antiqued metal cap. It’s a stunning display piece for fans of the series.
Bat Wing Han Sha Spear
- Multi-Purpose Blade: The Bat Wing Han Sha Spear features a long, sword-like blade made from a composite of folded 1060 and T9 high carbon steels, ensuring sharpness and vibrant patterning. It has a diamond cross-section for rigidity and effective cutting, tapering towards the end for minimal drag.
- Entangling “Bat Wing” Design: The spear is equipped with “Bat Wings” based on original fittings, allowing it to entrap an opponent’s weapon. This feature enhances its versatility and defensive capabilities in combat.
- Quality Craftsmanship: Crafted with precision, the spear includes a black lacquered ashwood haft with an oval cross-section for superior edge alignment. It also comes with a wooden scabbard featuring brass fittings, adding to its durability and aesthetic appeal.
Greek Dory Spear
- High Carbon Steel Spearhead: The Greek Dory Spear features a spearhead made of high carbon steel, known for its durability and strength.
- Robust Hardwood Haft: Its haft is constructed from polished hardwood, providing a sturdy and reliable grip for the wielder.
- Versatile Sauroter Butt Cap: The spear includes a brass Sauroter butt cap, which acts as a counterbalance and can also function as a spiked spearhead in its own right when needed.
Viking Lugged Spear
- Overall Length: The Viking Lugged Spear measures an impressive 85 3/8 inches, providing substantial reach in combat.
- Versatile Battlefield Weapon: This spear, inspired by the Norse tradition, serves as a versatile battlefield weapon, excelling in both single combat and large-scale warfare. It can be thrust, thrown, or used to maintain a defensive shield wall formation.
- Deadly Thrusting Capability: With a weight of 4 lb 4.3 oz and a long shaft, the spear’s thrusting capability is deceptively deadly, causing deep wounds and substantial internal bleeding upon impact.
- Sharp 2Cr13 cast stainless steel blade: The Magnum Spear features a sharp, durable blade for effective jabbing and stabbing.
- Sleek black oxide and satin finish: Both the blade and the shaft made of nylon and aluminum showcase a modern, stylish appearance.
- Included TPU sheath: This combat-ready spear comes with a tough TPU sheath for safe and convenient storage.
- Unique Design: The Allaxdrow Spear features an intricate design inspired by the character Estea from the Kit Rae universe. It boasts a two-piece construction with three 420 stainless steel blades, including a double-edged spearpoint blade and two ornately detailed curved blades.
- Decorative Elegance: This decorative spear is a stunning addition to any collection or costume, with its blackened steel haft wrapped in brown leather, culminating in an eye-catching conical point. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity, featuring a serial number and laser-engraved Kit Rae emblem.
- Impressive Dimensions: With an overall length of 69.5 inches, the Allaxdrow Spear is a sizable and attention-grabbing piece that can be proudly displayed for all to see. Please note that it comes disassembled for easy handling and storage.
Roman Thin Pilum
- Fully Functional Roman Javelin: The Roman Thin Pilum is a fully functional ancient Roman javelin, accurately designed for historical accuracy.
- Lightweight and Mobile Design: This javelin is intentionally lighter than average, enhancing its range and mobility while remaining historically accurate.
- Tall, Thin Penetrative Tip: It features a long metal spike with a barbed, pyramidal tip designed for penetration and disabling its target.
Spear of Eomer
- Fantasy Design: The Spear of Eomer brings the world of the Lord of the Rings to life with its captivating fantasy design, including golden detailing and the iconic horse motif of Rohan.
- Licensed Replica: This decorative spear is an officially licensed replica of the Weta Workshop prop used in the Lord of the Rings films, ensuring its authenticity and attention to detail.
- High-Quality Materials: Crafted with a cold-cast steel blade and a wooden haft, the spear measures 84 inches in length, making it a highly detailed and visually stunning addition to any collection or fantasy decor.
Zulu African Spear
- Historical Accuracy: The Zulu African Spear is an authentic recreation based on the famous Iklwa spear, featuring a tempered high carbon steel blade and wood shaft that stay true to historical design.
- Durable Construction: Crafted with a brass wire-reinforced socket, the spear ensures sturdiness, making it fully functional for collectors or enthusiasts interested in historical weaponry.
- Impressive Measurements: With an overall length of 50 inches, a 13-inch blade, and weighing 2 lbs. 8 oz., this spear offers impressive dimensions for both display and appreciation of its historical significance.
Viking War Spear
- Fully Functional Viking War Spear: Crafted with a 1566 high carbon steel head, this spear embodies the essence of Viking culture with its no-nonsense design, offering both piercing and hooking capabilities.
- Authentic Hardwood Shaft: The long hardwood shaft, measuring 65 inches, not only adds an authentic look but also provides a smooth and durable grip for wielding and throwing.
- Enhanced Piercing Power: Featuring tail spikes and a tapered steel pick at the bottom, this Viking War Spear offers exceptional piercing power, making it an indispensable weapon for enthusiasts of the Viking Age.
Spartan Warrior Spear by RagnoroksEnd
- Stainless Steel Spear Tip: The spear boasts a sharp and durable stainless steel spear tip.
- Cast Metal Shell: Its solid wood shaft is encased within a robust cast metal outer shell for added strength.
- Double Pointed Construction: Designed with a two-point construction, it can be easily separated for convenient transport while maintaining its structural integrity.
300 Spartan Spear by GriffinGearllc
- Handmade Craftsmanship: The 300 Spartan Spear is entirely handmade, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship.
- Two-Part Construction: This spear consists of two parts for easy assembly and transport.
- Impressive Length: With a substantial length of 84 inches, it offers remarkable reach in various scenarios.
Handmade Viking Spear by GurkhabladeByKnife
- Exceptional Craftsmanship: Crafted by hand in Nepal, this spear showcases exceptional craftsmanship, ensuring its quality and authenticity.
- Versatile Usage: With a razor-sharp 18-inch 5160 carbon steel blade and a 31-inch full tang Rosewood handle, this spear is versatile, suitable for hunting, working purposes, and two-handed handling.
- Ready for Action: The spear arrives sharpened and ready for use, providing a reliable and effective tool for various tasks.
Gungnir Spear by OrionKrafts
- Unique Handcrafted Design: The Gungnir Spear embraces Norse mythology with intricate, hand-forged details and a beautifully crafted wooden box adorned with the Tree of Life, making each spear truly one-of-a-kind.
- Authentic Viking Construction: With a durable iron handle and a tempered carbon steel blade, the Gungnir Spear embodies the spirit of Viking weaponry, ensuring both strength and historical accuracy.
- Mythological Significance: As the legendary weapon of Odin, the Gungnir Spear holds deep mythological importance, making it a powerful symbol of Norse heritage and craftsmanship.
Handmade Viking Ragnar Spear by RoyalWeaponry
- Razor-Sharp Blade: The Handmade Viking Ragnar Spear boasts a razor-sharp, 16-inch double-sided blade at the handle, ensuring exceptional cutting precision and effectiveness.
- Exceptional Craftsmanship: Handcrafted with care, this spear offers a unique blend of historical accuracy and modern quality, making it a remarkable gift for men.
- Durable and Reliable: With a blade hardness of 54-58 HRC, this spear combines the strength of Viking tradition with a sharp edge for versatility and long-lasting performance.
Handmade Japanese War Thrusting Spear by QuantumShoppu
- High Carbon Steel Construction: The spear is handcrafted using high-carbon steel, ensuring durability and authenticity for battle-ready use.
- Versatile Thrusting and Throwing: This Japanese spear is designed for both thrusting and throwing, featuring a sharp and pointy tip for precise strikes.
- Quality Craftsmanship: The spear’s head is made of high-carbon steel, while the pole is constructed from tempered hardwood, assembled with screws, epoxy, and leather for robustness and longevity.
Mera Handmade Viking Spear by GurkhabladeByKnife
- Blade Material: Crafted from 5160 leaf spring steel for exceptional strength and durability.
- Razor-Sharp Edge: Meticulously honed blade, ready for hunting and cutting tasks right out of the box.
- Balanced Design: Weighing 1820 grams, the spear offers a manageable, controlled feel with a 26-inch full tang handle for a total length of 36 inches.
Viking Berserker Wolf Spear by TheUnassailableMage
- Handle: Crafted from red oak, providing a sturdy and attractive grip.
- Head Material: Made from tempered carbon steel for durability and strength.
- Length: Approximately 65 inches in overall size, offering impressive reach for various purposes.
Dragon Slayer Spear by TheUnassailableMage
- Handle Material: Red oak for a comfortable grip.
- Head Material: Tempered carbon steel for durability.
- Length: Approximately 65 inches, providing extended reach for various purposes.
God of War Ragnarok Inspired Draupnir Spear by TheUnassailableMage
- Unique Handcrafted Design: Each Draupnir Spear is individually hand-engraved, carved, stained, and finished, resulting in a one-of-a-kind appearance, with variations in burn patterns and metal grain.
- Durable Construction: The spear features a red oak handle and a tempered carbon steel head, ensuring both strength and functionality.
- Impressive Length: With an overall length of approximately 65 inches, this spear is designed to make a striking visual statement while remaining unsharpened for safe display.
In the quest for authentic historical weaponry, the allure of spears continues to captivate collectors, history buffs, and martial enthusiasts alike. These versatile weapons, with their rich history and intricate craftsmanship, offer a tangible connection to bygone eras of battle and chivalry. Whether you’re drawn to the elegance of a halberd or the power of a pike, the search for spears for sale is a journey well worth embarking upon.
As you explore the various sources and avenues for acquiring these remarkable pieces of history, you’ll not only enrich your collection but also gain a deeper appreciation for the role these weapons have played in shaping the course of human history. So, with a keen eye and a thirst for historical knowledge, step into the world of spears and discover the authenticity and artistry that lie within these iconic weapons.