Eleven monoclonal antibodies directed against the subcomponent C1q of the first component of human complement, C1, were prepared and tested for binding to intact C1q and to the collagenous portion, the C1q stalks. All of the monoclonals bound well to the intact C1q. Eight out of the eleven exhibited strong binding to the collagenous stalks, while three bound very weakly, if at all, to the stalks and, thus, were presumed to bind to the pepsin-sensitive region which includes the C1q heads. For one of the latter monoclonals, this was confirmed by electron microscopy. Five of the monoclonals were purified by C1q affinity chromatography. When tested with C1 reassembled from its subunits, two of these purified monoclonal antibodies markedly enhanced the rate of spontaneous activation.