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Old 3rd November 2008, 05:00 PM   #1
Matchlock's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default A unique crossbow collection

This belongs to a friend of mine and contains only the finest stuff, such as three Gothic crossbows with horn composite bows, one of them, the earliest, of. ca. 1430, coming from the famous Harold L. Peterson collection and being illustrated in his Book of the Gun. Another, the shortest, made in about 1530, comes from the collection of the Dukes of Brunswick. It is certainly one of the latest composite bows made. The huge Gothic crossbow, its tiller almost completely veneered with white bone plaques, is an abolutely fantastic and important piece of ca. 1500-10.

My friend built a room in the Gothic taste for his collection, using 500 year old furniture and fittings. The atmosphere the ensemble conveys, including that very special smell that only extremely old things have, is absolutely overwhelming. When you enter the room you feel like being on a journey back to the Middle Ages right away.
Here are a few impressions of the arrangement plus some details of special pieces - enjoy!

The especially fine and unique painted quarrel casket dated 1524 was in the famous Vienna collection of Albert Figdor about 100 years ago.

Some of the quarrels even have painted hafts and fletches. You will remember the incendiary arrows from my former post on this subject.

Many of the cranequins are dated; the dates range from 1504 (the oldest known dated cranequin in the world!) over 1532 (both formerly in my collection), 1538, 1540 and 1545 (I may be mixing up two dates). There is also a fine cranequin of ca. 1550, etched overall with animals and hunting scenes amidst foliage.

A very rare 15th century quiver for quarrels is covered with pigskin and a fine tubular quiver for arrows, South Tyrol, early 16th century, is covered with painted leather and iron mounted.

The black pavise bears the Nuremberg coat of arms both painted on the obverse and branded as a proof mark at the reverse - see details.

I must say that I am very proud of the fact that I became both his friend and adviser and that some of his fine pieces were in my collection before I had to concentrate on firearms.

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