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Old 7th December 2008, 12:42 PM   #15
Matchlock
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default A unique casket for crossbow bolts, ca. 1420, bearing the later date 1524

Sold at auction two years ago, bearing an old inventory label from the famos Vienna Collection of Albert Figdor, early 20th century.

Of beechwood. Both the obsolete 14th century form of the crossbow illustrated on the lid and that of the tinned iron mounts denote that the casket was actually made at least some 100 years earlier than the date 1524 suggests. Furthermore, close inspection proves that all the painting is at the same level, only the date 1524 - showing the Gothic form the numeral 4 - consists of a much thicker layer than the rest.

So this fine object should be referred to as a casket for special crossbow bolts (not the common quarrels), and made in the early 15th century, probably as a prize for the best aiming crossbowman and containing the bolts that he won the title with. It seems to have been dated 1524 some 100 years later - or may be exactly 100 years later, possibly in remembrance of the founding of a crossbowmen's guild.

Michael
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