Join Date: Jan 2011
Hello again Michael!
I have been intrigued since I first read in Harmuths book about the crossbows in Hermannstadt, now Sibiu. 25 war crossbows that have been hanging in storage in an armoury between the late 15th/early 16th century and the 1930’s. Totally awesome! If they still are kept together and if it’s true that they have been hanging like that all this time, they are the only group of crossbows that I know of that we can for example use to check if a city/region has a specific measurement for the bolt to fit between the nut fingers. I saw that your friend didn’t think that, but I don’t think he have checked a group like these. Even if he has examined hundreds of crossbows, I guess they have moved between different collections during the years.
One thing that I find interesting with these crossbows is that most of them seem to have an iron hook behind the nut for a “riemenrollenspanner”, cord and pulley, and not the cranequin pegs as most other crossbows at the time, (even though the examined crossbow in the article seems to have both pulley hook and cranequin pegs). Many other crossbows from this part of the world seem to have pulley hook only.
Many of the crossbows seems also to be both long and quite sturdy, they also weigh a bit more because of that. It’s apparent from the article that a few of the horn bows were quite nicely decorated, even though they were weapons of war. I have seen discussions about that before, and I believe that in an age without advertising it would be smart to advertise your work as a crossbow maker like this. Many can see the fine crossbows of the city watch.
The composite bows could have been made by baleen “whale bone” but I guess it’s more likely that they were made by ordinary horn, even though it could very well be Ibex, stone goat horns, that is rated better than most other horns. Fritz Rohde also mentions whale bone in his article from 1934. I don’t think anyone could say for sure at that time what they were made of.
That's all for now,