Clive Farahar Antiquarian Books - Rare and Antiquarian Books and Manuscripts

INDIA. Four Pig Sticking Spears,   c.1800
with Steel tips and decorated base finials, Rose Wood shafts, tallest 9ft.
The sport of Hoghunting or Pig Sticking spears was one of the most popular sports of British India. Fox Hunting was considered in England the Sport of King and the King of Sports, but for those who experienced the thrill of Pigsticking, it was the finest sport of all. Like Fox Hunting, it inspired songs and ballads sung around the camp fires at night. Hunters originally went out in pairs but the sport became so popular that groups of 5 & 6 and organised themselves into Tent Clubs. The oldest one claims to be in Poona founded at the time of the British Occupation in the Peshwa days before the Battle of Kirkee in 1817. In 1830 a Mr. Mills refined the Sport, introducing new lighter shafts of Bamboo and shortened the spears to 6 feet. The Oriental Magazine records numerous events across the country, detailing the different catches. A true pig was considered to be the Boar, while Squeakers and Sows were not considered as great prizes. In 1862 the Calcutta Tent Club banned the killing of sows, making a fine of "one dozen of Champagne" for anyone who transgressed. Elsewhere the fine was usually "One Gold Mohur" - 15 rupees. Pigs were not the only game persued with these spears. General James Outram was recorded by his Adjutant Douglas Graham. On hearing about some tigers "Outram sharpened his old Maratha lance which had a knob of rusty iron on one end and a bayonet like bit of steel on the other. The Tiger got into a hole, and we smoked him out. Outram stood above the hole and speared him in the neck as he came out. The Tiger turned and broke the spear in pieces, when Tapp and I fired and knocked him over." C.R. Templar in Elliott's "Field Sports in India".

Stock ref: 13099