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Old 20th March 2014, 11:35 AM   #263
Matchlock
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default The Late Gothic Crossbows at the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Romania

Hi,


I found this image I posted above in a museum's book on the earliest firearms in the Brukenthal museum, which of course are highly interesting to me. The book is by Elena Roman: Arme de Foc Portative Secolele XV-XVIII, 1981. The photos are of horribly poor quality, and although the one of the weapons room at the back of the book is said to have been taken in 1934, they all look that old.
Some six years ago I made contacts with the museum staff, and getting regular responses was really extremely tough and the uncertainty was almost unbearable although I had made the contact via a high-ranking official in the Romanian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs. Well, I just hung on and by and by I learned that there was only one way to get what I wanted (good photos). And that way was called money, so I finally tranferred a few hundred euro. After what seemed an eternity, at least half a year or so, I received color (!) photos of their earliest Late Gothic and Early Renaissance firearms.
O.k., so they were in color but that was about all. They were visibly taken with the utmost reluctance, extremely dark and in very low resolution, 270 kB each. The museum staff had agreed to take the images in high resolution before, 5 MB each. In fact, however, I could hardly see anything that was of interest to me. Our agreement was that they would take many detailed close-ups of the lock mechanisms amd the marks on the barrels. Nothing of all that was on what I got. When I reclaimed, the contact broke up immediately and I was told that I would not get photos of the crossbows as a female member of the museum's staff, Anca Nitoi, wanted to do her doctorate on them. So that was it. An average span of time to acquire a Ph.D. is 2-3 years. After six years now I have heard nothing about an academic study on the Sibiu crossbows, and their internet site does not provide any information on museum's publications either.
Believe me, it's experiences like that that just make me comment pejoratively as usual: 'museums '

I attached two of those photos of their guns, just for the fun and for you to judge their 'quality'. It is only with a whole lot of imagination that I can tell by these images that the guns are early snap-tinderlocks from the 1520's to 30's.

Also attached find two close-ups of the crossbows, as good as it gets. And, attached at the bottom, in my archives I found a xeroxed copy of a historic photo of the array in the Sibiu weapons hall of ca. 1880, where some Gothic crossbows can be identified.

Finally, Sibiu seems to have split up the display of the crossbows; here is an impression of the Altemberger Haus, which belongs to the Hermannstadt/Brukenthal administration.


Best,
Michael
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