Join Date: Oct 2010
A gothic crossbow with horn bow dating c. 1430-1460.
This crossbow failed to sell at an auction some years ago, because it was wrongly described as Scandinavian dating c. 1500.
A few years later I saw it in a private collection, where I took the photo.
In this collection was also another crossbow of typical central European shape with a tiller made of fruit-wood and a spanning-hook at the upper side.
Both crossbows had identical (really identical, not only similar) elements:
The strongly reflex horn-bow, the stirrup, the cord binding and the trigger lever. Therefore both crossbows must have been made by the same maker or in the same wokshop. This workshop was in South-Tyrol. This is proofed by an exhibition label on the bow inscibed by hand with No. XII and with a latin text stating that this cossbow was was once in the collection of Castle Rodeneck (South-Tyrol),and dated 11.April 1891.
The crossbow on the photo is a somewhat simlpler version than the usually known ones. The tiller is made of more durable oak, the side plates are iron sheets instead of less durable horn plates. The only decoration are the horn plates on the upper side. The spanning- hook is on the bottom side, probably for a cord-puller, as can be seen on Italian paintings of the period.
While the horn inlaid crossbows with fruit-wood tillers can be described as all purpose crossbows suitable for sporting, hunting and war, the crossbow on the photo is surely only for one purpose. It is a war-crossbow.