Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
A fine, early 16th c. crossbow in the Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum Munich, the slender tiller completely veneered with plaques of white staghorn and decorated with incised parallel lines.
This object marks the first stage of the utilization of wrought iron bows instead of using bows composite of laminated and glued horn and wood. In many instances - and obviously in the case of this piece in discussion! - , the composite bow was replaced by an iron one, which is visible because of the wider recess at the front of the tiller required by the composite bow that had to be filled with wood; thus, the tiller was recycled and modernized.
This bow retains its original coating of parchment or paper dyed in the basic Late Gothic colors red, green and white.
Attached below is a photo of an interesting object: a cranequin etched, signed and dated HZ 1630. As the overall appearance suggests a date of 'ca. mid 16th century' I am prone to believe that the etched decoration may have been added in 1630. Any opinions on this thesis?