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Old 25th April 2017, 05:10 PM   #1
thinreadline
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Default HARPOON SPEAR ?

Again from the attic heap , this curious item a spear with a detachable head presumably some kind of harpoon . Very long overall at 2.9 metres with a very small ( 18 cm ) socketed barbed head which has a leather sleeve covering part of its length. There is also a small iron shoe at the other end of the shaft. The most curious feature ( to my mind ) however is the way the wooden shaft has been carved at the business end so as to form a 2 stepped feature which appears to act as a tie on point for the cord which retains the barbed head . Any info on this item would be most gratefully received ,
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Old 25th April 2017, 08:08 PM   #2
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I can not identify where this comes from, but the principal of the thing is common to other hand thrown harpoons. The shaft is used (of course) to throw the harpoon, which then parts company with the shaft, but is attached to a rope/cord so that whatever the target is does not get away. This type of harpoon was used in early whaling and can be seen in woodcuts of the period.
Stu
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Old 25th April 2017, 08:34 PM   #3
Jim McDougall
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Not sure of the ID on this..........but where the heck did that white whale go!!!???


These examples from c. 1887
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Old 25th April 2017, 10:55 PM   #4
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But what puzzles me is the pointed iron shoe .... not something you would want in a boat harpoon .... even boarding pikes did not have pointy shoes ! So I assume this harpoon was designed for use 'from the bank' as it were.
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Old 26th April 2017, 06:57 AM   #5
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Maybe the pointy shoe is another harpoon head.
Might have been attached when the harpoons were been decommissioned to keep the items together.
It definitely does not look like it would have been practical to have such a pointy end on the harpoon during its working life.
Looking at the last picture might there have been a folding barb
There looks to be a curviture on the LHS swooping to the right. Might have followed the shape of the fold out barb. Is there any hinge or remnants of a pin on top?
Or this end might have been the top of the socket where the detachable part of the " other" harpoon went?
Just taughts I know nothing about these
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Ken

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Old 26th April 2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock
Maybe the pointy shoe is another harpoon head.
Might have been attached when the harpoons were been decommissioned to keep the items together.
It definitely does not look like it would have been practical to have such a pointy end on the harpoon during its working life.
Just a taught.
Ken


Yes that is a possibility but the 'shoe' is relatively smooth sided with no sign of ever having had a barb and the socket has a hole in it where it is pinned to the shaft.
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Old 26th April 2017, 10:01 AM   #7
colin henshaw
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With that nail through the socket, I would place this spear in the West/West-Central African region somewhere. Without some sort of provenance, its difficult to be more precise.

It looks just like a normal spear or lance to me, perhaps just adapted for fishing. The metal "shoe" is for sticking in the ground or placing in a stirrup rest whilst on horseback.
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Old 26th April 2017, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
With that nail through the socket, I would place this spear in the West/West-Central African region somewhere. Without some sort of provenance, its difficult to be more precise.

It looks just like a normal spear or lance to me, perhaps just adapted for fishing. The metal "shoe" is for sticking in the ground or placing in a stirrup rest whilst on horseback.


Yes you may have it right there Colin ... I have had this for about 20 years and have wondered about it .
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