Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Late Gothic Crossbows and Accouterments (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7516)

Matchlock 11th February 2012 02:05 PM

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One more photo of the Baumkircher crossbow, and the other Vienna crossbow. Please note that the latter is not yet equipped with the 'usual' lateral lugs for the cranequin loop but still features the earlier hook on top of the tiller for attacchin the spanning belt that was the predecessor of the cranequin. The earlest cranequins seem to turn up around the mid-15th c.

m


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Matchlock 19th February 2012 12:27 PM

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A late-15th c. Gothic crossbow with horn composite bow, sold cheaply at a Stockholm auction in 1996.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 19th February 2012 01:12 PM

Crossbow vs. a Light Cannon Ball in 1487
 
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A votive painting by the German mercenary Ludwig Klingkhamer, who was shot by a falconet ball lelow the North Italian fortress of Rovereto during the Venetian War in 1487. He survived and consequently donated this painting the blatancy and drastic decidedness of which still strikes us in every single detail after more than 500 years.

Please note the smashed crossbow parts at the left of the borse's fore legs, the bolts in the horse's body, as well as the shape of the Gothic numerals 1487.

Best,
Michael

fernando 19th February 2012 02:10 PM

Gosh :eek:

Matchlock 22nd February 2012 02:26 PM

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A very nice South German Early Renaissance cranequin, ca. 1540, preserved in completely original condition, wrought iron with brass applications. The maker's mark, a crescent and two pellets, is well known but cannot be attributed to an identified person. Brass applications in iron works - and weapons - are known to have been in use from ca. 1470-1550, and then again around 1700.

What is highly unusual with this cranequin is the the fact that the cord loop for attaching the spanning device to the lugs on the crossbow tiller is internally reinforced here with strands of iron wire. This remarkable feature becomes visible only thru a small damage of the loop.

German private collection.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 22nd February 2012 03:22 PM

A Late Gothic Crossbow, ca. 1460-70, in the Museum of Morges, Switzerland
 
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The cranequin mounted is about contemporary; the one displayed on the right is notably shorter and can be dated to ca. 1500, the belt hook is missing. The sporting crossbow seems to be German, ca. 1600-1650.

Please note the b/w illustration of a cross section of a Late Gothic composite horn bow. I posted such remarkable coss sections of horn bows preserved in the Swiss collections of Lucerne and Zürich here before.

Best,
Michael

Micke D 23rd February 2012 04:04 PM

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And here is the sister to the cranequin that Michael posted.
It's located in Skokloster in Sweden.
It's from the same maker but it is a bit more stripped, not much of housing left.

Matchlock 25th February 2012 05:44 PM

One of the Finest Late Gothic Crossbows in Existence, ca. 1480
 
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I was told that this one was preserved in The Royal Armouries Leeds but it was not on display when I was there, nor was is exhibited in The Tower of London.

Does anybody have a clue - Micke?

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 25th February 2012 06:58 PM

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I just found out it actually is in Leeds. Here is more of it.

In our opinion, this item should be definitely dated about a quarter of a century earlier than the RA believe it is.

m

Micke D 27th February 2012 06:49 AM

I think that this one could be from 1480-1490 or something like that, based on the strange and probably early four-axle lock mechanism.

I have written a little article explaining my thoughts about how this one is related to two other 15th c crossbows.

This one wasn't displayed when I was at Leeds either, but the floor with the hunting stuff was closed for rebuilding/rearranging or something like that.

I don't know if it has been displayed in modern times at all? I guess there would be more photos of it if it has been shown.

Matchlock 27th February 2012 02:42 PM

Where was that article of yours published? Could you share it with us?

m

Matchlock 28th February 2012 03:58 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micke D
I think that this one could be from 1480-1490 or something like that, based on the strange and probably early four-axle lock mechanism.

I have written a little article explaining my thoughts about how this one is related to two other 15th c crossbows.

This one wasn't displayed when I was at Leeds either, but the floor with the hunting stuff was closed for rebuilding/rearranging or something like that.

I don't know if it has been displayed in modern times at all? I guess there would be more photos of it if it has been shown.




I found a different view.

m

Matchlock 29th February 2012 05:12 PM

A Leather Quiver, Swiss Country Museum Zürich
 
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This item is labeled as 16th century but I think it should rather be assigned to the 17th c. and was designed for hunting purposes.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 11th March 2012 03:52 PM

A Fine Nuremberg Cranequin Dated 1537
 
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Please note the excellent and complete overall condition, the way that the numeral 7 is struck within Gothic trefoil ornament, the punched decoration which is stylistically characteristic of the period around 1540, the brass- or gold-inlaid maker's mark, an arrow and two pellets, and the leather covered cord loop.
It was hammered down at 6,500 Swiss Francs at Fischer, Lucerne, in September 2010.

This Nuremberg workshop arrow mark is also found on the barrels of matchlock Landsknecht arquebuses preserved in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum Ingolstadt, together with the same date 1537; this group of arquebuses was restocked in 1619 (two images attached).

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 15th March 2012 12:22 PM

Romanic and Early to High Gothic Bows and Crossbows in Period Artwork
 
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From top to bottom:

- Spain or Portugal, Romanic, 12th. c.

- Line drawing of an early Gothic German crossbow, 13th c., by Egon Harmuth

- Another, of a Late Gothic German crossbow, 15th c., and of a Renaissance type of 1the 16th c., by the same author

- ca. 1230, from the Maciejowski (or Morgan) Bible, 4 scans

- ca. 1326/7, from the famous de Milemete or Christ Church ms, Oxford

- ca. 1350-55, illustrations of a crossbow and a quiver, Haguenau, France

- ca. 1230, a very rare illustration of a trap war crossbow, by Villard de Honnecourt, ms. fr. 19093, Bibliothèque Nationale Paris

For more on trap crossbows please see

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15016



More to come.

m

Matchlock 15th March 2012 01:16 PM

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On the cycle of illustrations goes ...

- a very early South Italian illustration of 1196, from the cod. 120, Burgerbibliothek Berne/Switzerland (two scans)

- ca. 1225 (left) and ca. 1300 (right)

- a stone relief from the 12th century

- crossbows from various miniatures in the Luttrell Psalter, ca. 1330, British Library (5 scans)

- English bows vs. crossbows, ca. 1255, from the Historia Anglorum, by Matthew Paris.


To be continued.

Matchlock 15th March 2012 01:49 PM

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- A humble self portrait of Matthew Paris in his Historia Anglorum, ca. 1255 (see three last scans in my previous post)http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/images/icons/icon7.gif

- Crossbows and their early accouterments, spanning belt and quiver, from the Flanders (Bruges?) manuscript The Romance of Alexander, ca. 1340 (5 scans)

- Crossbows, 1308-13 (perhaps can some member please translate the Cyrillic script? :) )

- 14th c. Belgian crossbows from one of the many versions of the tale on Lancelot du Lac, Province of Hainaut

- ca. 1400

- 14th century

- spanning a High Gothic (ca. 1340) so-called one-foot crossbow both kneeling and standing up, the illustration on the right from the Luttrell ms., cf. my post above


Best,
Michael

fernando 15th March 2012 03:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
From top to bottom:
- Spain or Portugal, Romanic, 12th. c.

As per my post #6 :o .

Matchlock 15th March 2012 03:22 PM

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Oh 'Nando,

Now I remember where I stole it from! :cool: :eek:

Best,
Michl

Matchlock 19th March 2012 06:37 PM

Stone Relief, End of 15th. c., in Linköping Cathedral, Sweden
 
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m

Matchlock 20th March 2012 12:14 PM

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This crossbow, ca. 1470, was sold at Fischer, Lucerne, 25 November 1964, and then again in 2011 from the Klingbeil collection.

The spanning belt is a reconstruction.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 20th March 2012 12:19 PM

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The spanning belt replica; in order to get an actually working construction, the leather belt would have to be much more robust than this, built of various intertwined layers.

m

Matchlock 20th March 2012 12:35 PM

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A quiver for crossbow bolts and another for arrows, also from the Klingbeil collection; both were offered as 19th c. reproductions. Both items wore an inventory label from the Cuturhistorische Ausstellung Steyr, Austria, which is known to have taken place in 1884. 332 Objects said to have come from the Steyr museum were presented there.

m

Matchlock 20th March 2012 12:42 PM

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Three more close-ups.

m

Matchlock 20th March 2012 12:48 PM

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A good South German (Nuremberg?) cranequin for a crossbow, ca. 1540, with rare brass inserts, and retaining its original bound and leather-covered cord loop, the belt hook missing.
From the Klingbeil collection.

Both the maker's mark, a crescent and two stars, and the style of manufacture denote that this came from the very same workshop as the cranequins in posts 85 and 87.

m

Matchlock 20th March 2012 09:43 PM

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A Late Gothic Crossbow, the tiller completely veneered in white staghorn, early 16th century, and some quarrels in the Tojhusmuseet Copenhagen.

m

David Jaumann 24th March 2012 09:47 PM

early cranequins
 
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Hi to everyone,

I´m new in this forum and I have already read several interesting topics during the last few months.
I do a late fiftenth century reenactment and I´m very much interested in crossbows. In order to reunite these two hobbies, I´d like to rebuilt a late gothic crossbow with a horn and sinew prod that must be spanned with a cranequin. I already did quite many researches for early cranequins (from about 1475) but I didn´t find many examples. Do you have good pictures of early gothic cranequins and maybe also mesurements? That would be really nice!

thank you in advance,

David

Matchlock 25th March 2012 02:44 PM

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Hi David,

Welcome here!

As to rebuilding a composite hornbow crossbow and a matching cranequin, believe me: it is virtually impossible!

In post #54, I posted a cross-section of a composite hornbow and detailed description. Please study carefully. Below I attach photos of a similar cross-sectioned hornbow fragment that I took in the reserve collection of the Historisches Museum Luzern in 1995.

I have heard of several people who, like you, tried to copy such an item and all failed in the end.
That's exactly why there is not one single replica of such a hornbow on the market!
As to the cranequin: I think the best idea would be to view a piece you would like to have in an upcoming auction, photograph it there and take all the measurements.

Again though: rebuilding it would prove to be a tremendous piece of toil. I suggest purchasing an original piece that works alright and use that. This will be both more efficient and cheaper as well.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 25th March 2012 03:04 PM

Please read also here:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...othic+crossbows

m

David Jaumann 27th March 2012 09:32 AM

Thank you for the much detailed pictures of horn and sinew prods Michael!

Do you know if something like alum was mixed into the glue for making it more water proof?
As for the cranequin, I do think that such early original cranequins cost really much :( Did the style for cranequins like the one I attached on my first post already exist in 1475? I think this picture shows a cranequin from about 1500.

I think that I still will try making a crossbow even if it does not work for the first time. I´m really much interested in doing that and I know someone who already has made several composite crossbows from about 1300.

Do you know good books with many detailed examples of late gothic crossbows with horn and sinew prods? I already have read "Die Hornbogenarmbrust"

thank you and greetings,

David

Matchlock 27th March 2012 01:28 PM

Hi David,

We do not know much about the materials but the only glue used it those periods was bone glue from animal bones. It was not at all 'water proof' but I have heard of the alum addition as well ...

I think that the cranequin you posted should be assigned to the early 16th c. Such pieces in good condition are between 2,500 and 3,000 euro, or you could purchase an imperfect one for less than 1,500 € and complete it yourself. I cannot imagine building a perfect one for less money. Did you ever have a look inside a gear box and take out the gear wheel of such a cranequin?

I'd like to get into contact with the guy you mentioned who built 13th c. composite bows and see photos of his productions!

The only other good book is
Egon Harmuth, Die Armbrust, Graz, 1975, and a later revised edition.

Do not expect to find a lot of images of original items in them though; that's why I started this thread! All original crossbows the photos of which I got hold of are posted here as long as there are a few close-ups.


Best,
Michael

David Jaumann 27th March 2012 04:35 PM

Hi Michael,

thanks for the book commendation! I will have a look at it!

You can google "historia vivens 1300" and you will find the homepage of the living history group where Andreas Bichler is a member. At "Realien", there are several of his crossbows (later models) and on "Bibliotek" you can read about penetration tests with different types of quarrels on a gambeson and mail shirt. It´s very interesting!

I know a good blacksmith who would forge a cranequin for me. I think that the price will be affordable, because he knows that I´m still passing my last year at grammar school. If the price is to high, I hope that I can do something for him like sewing etc...
He has a detailed plan of a 1530 cranequin. I think that system inside should be rather the same as in 1475 (the cog wheel of the older models might be smaller). So I´m searching for good patterns I could give him.

Might the two cranequins exposed in the "Churburger Rüstkammer" be better patterns for 1475 (with less decorations than the originals of cause)? There is a picture of these cranequins in "Die Hornbogenarmbrust" on page 114. How were the two sides of the gear box of late medieval cranequins matched together? With screws?

Thank you very much and best regards,

David

Matchlock 1st April 2012 01:46 PM

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Hi David,


I know that there are some copies of hornbow crossbows; when I said I thought it could not be done I meant, properly done - just exacty the way it was done 500 years ago.

Yes, the two Churburg cranequins (images attached from the Churburg catalog) rank among the finest in existence, together with the Odescalchi cranequin, of course. Their gear boxes are all decorated with Gothic tracery, of brass I think.

As you can see on the earliest known dated cranequin, 1504, once in my collection and now it that of a friend, gear boxes are fixed by iron tacks until at least the 1530's, sometimes up to the mid-16th century. In some cases they are riveted, though.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...othic+crossbows


Best,
Michael

Matchlock 1st April 2012 02:35 PM

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More details of a fine Nuremberg cranequin by the 'Master of the crossed arrows', dated 1532, the gear box riveted. Formerly in my collection, and with my friend now.

Please note the close-up of the bottom side with the seam of copper soldering clearly visible.

m

Matchlock 1st April 2012 02:53 PM

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The finely wrought crank handles of two Nuremberg cranequins, both by the 'Master of the crossed arrows', dated 1532 and 1540 respectively, composed of boxwood and staghorn.

m

Matchlock 2nd April 2012 12:56 PM

Crossbows, a Spanning Belt and a Cranequin, Munich, ca. 1475
 
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One of the many depictions of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, in the Wallraff-Richartz-Museum Köln/Cologne.

Please note that the obsolete spanning belt is still in use, side by side with the 'new' spanning device, the cranequin.

m

Matchlock 2nd April 2012 01:34 PM

Two Cranequins in the Habsburg Waffensammlung Vienna
 
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The first Late Gothic, ca. 1500, the belt hook missing;
the second was dated '2nd half 15th century' by the staff but, in spite of its Late Gothic brass tracery on the gear box, it should be actually dated to 'ca. 1530-40'; the belt hook a modern replacement.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 2nd April 2012 01:37 PM

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One last close-up, the riveting of the (replaced) belt hook.

Matchlock 2nd April 2012 01:54 PM

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For close comparison with the foregoing cranequin, and to back its dating assigned by me, I attach images of a sample by the Nuremberg 'Master of the crossed arrows', dated 1540 and with almost identical punched trefoil decoration, from the collection of a friend.

m

Matchlock 14th April 2012 11:56 PM

An Early-16th C. Crossbow in a Piece of Period Artwork of 1518-9
 
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From the Herrenberg Altarpiece, painted by Jörg Ratgeb in 1518-9, now in the Staatsgalererie Stuttgart.

Please note that this plain Landsknecht crossbow is mounted with the characteristic early-16th c. steel bow and the tiller is depicted 'in the white', in its natural state and unvarnished, which of course was the cheapest possible version.

m


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