Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Sotheby's catalog description calls them QUOITES - is QUOITS American or just a modern version?
I have been told that they were set on fire and just thrown down from the town walls to welcome the enemy. As the sulfur and tar are said to splatter all around and make the flesh burn, the result must have been gruesome.
I also heard that they were stuck on poles to shed their light on fests in times of peace.
The are quite common in old German, Austrian and Swiss armories/museums and, as I wrote, sometimes could be purchased at auctions. The prices vary but are approximately 1,500 USD a piece.
I have four quoit(e)s, all of them different. I love them as they smell extremely old and dangerous giving my arms room the singular smell of an old armory. If you have ever been to the Landeszeughaus Graz, Austria, with more than 30,000 16th-17th century weapons you will know what I mean.
A friend of mine has a more quoit(e)s than I and would probably deaccession of one or two. Only the shipping will not be easy as they are rather fragile.
All the best to you,