Pair of Eighteenth Century Cockfighting Spurs
Vendor: Jason Clarke Antiques
For sale, a rare pair of eighteenth century cock fighting spurs.
These spurs are comprised of a two inch steel spike secured to a brass ring which is in turn secured to a leather strap. The leather straps would be secured around the cock’s leg with the steel ring placed over the bird’s natural leg spurs before facing its opponent.
Although its origins are ancient, this gruesome sport became popularised in the UK in the sixteenth century and Henry VIII himself had a cockpit built at Whitehall Palace during his reign. Apart from a short ban during the commonwealth period under Cromwell, it remained legal until 1849. Sadly, it is still practised in many countries and remains popular in parts of South East Asia.
Nevertheless, this relic from our rather more bloodthirsty ancestors is a fascinating piece of social history.