Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Wooden and wood/sinew crossbows (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25224)

stuckinthemud 18th August 2019 05:12 PM

Wooden and wood/sinew crossbows
 
I have a theory that the use of wooden and especially of wood/sinew crossbows was widespread across all levels of society even as late as the 16th century but I know of only 1 extant crossbow that could confirm this theory, that being the bow in Stockholm as shown in the gothic crossbow thread on this forum http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=crossbow
I know of fewer than 6 wooden crossbows in total covering the entire medieval period, including archaeological remains.

Does anyone know of any English language sources or images that could help me research the use of wooden and especially of wood/sinew crossbows in medieval Europe?

Thanks,
Andrew

Philip 19th August 2019 10:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckinthemud
I know of fewer than 6 wooden crossbows in total covering the entire medieval period, including archaeological remains.



Thanks,
Andrew


Perhaps the scarcity of surviving examples is due to the perishable nature of the organic materials comprising the bow. After all, Asiatic composite bows from the medieval period are few in number in today's collections despite the wealth of textual and artistic depictions from the era.

Your belief that these wood-and-sinew bows were in fact widespread in Europe at a certain period does have a basis when you consider what replaced them (steel bows) and how the practicality and prevalence of such at a somewhat later time can be tied into metallurgical advances in late medieval Europe. An inquiry into sword manufacture may provide clues. The works of Oakeshott and (Allan R) Williams might be useful in your quest.

Pukka Bundook 21st August 2019 02:23 PM

Morning Andrew,

There's nothing helpful in Sir Ralph Payne -Gallwey's book I don't suppose?

I can look mine out and get back to you, as time permits.
Weather good for a couple of days so hay-making at present!

Re your quest;
Same with Longbows;
Most just rotted away in the shed or wherever. Hardly fancy enough to hang on the wall....

stuckinthemud 21st August 2019 09:03 PM

I have a copy of PG, but not really useful for this de re militari was ok, the significant dates list on TheMCS web page is the most useful resource I've so far found, though I am in process of trying to get hold of Crossbows for the King


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