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Old 5th February 2012, 01:01 PM   #1
ericlaude
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Default Crossbow.

Hello everybody,
Could someone tell me how old is this crossbow and what is its origin.
Thank you in advance
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Old 5th February 2012, 02:06 PM   #2
fernando
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Interesting machine you got there.
Certainly old but not ancient, i guess ... within my ignorance .
Let's hear what the experts say about it.
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Old 5th February 2012, 02:17 PM   #3
Micke D
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It is not something that I have seen before. IF genuine, I'd guess it is some kind of crossbow trap because of the metal string.
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Old 5th February 2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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The goats foot cocking lever should just be applied for loading of course. The form appears to be one for conventional firing (carried no mounted on something), but the extended slot for the bolt is a new one on me, as is the sectioned steel bar for a string.
As to the age, these can be deceptively modern despite the archaic form. Take out one of the flat countersunk screws on the bolt holder and look at the thread. That'll give a good idea of age.
Sort of reminds me of the second one I posted in this thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=crossbow
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Old 5th February 2012, 02:30 PM   #5
ericlaude
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Old 6th February 2012, 03:36 PM   #6
Jim MacDougald
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I have a nearly identical crossbow, and have spent a lot of time researching it, including buying all the books I can find, and contacting the Royal Armoury at Leeds. They do not have a similar one in their collection. The Last two sales of similar crossbows were Del Mar Ltd in December 2011, and Sotheby's Billingshurst in 1998. The 2011 Del Mar catalog listing copied the Sotheby's listing. It said it was 17th century, probably used for firing incendiaries. Royal Armouries looked at some photos of my crossbow and concluded that it is 18th or 19th century, used for trap or incendiaries. I believe both assumptions are based on trying to explain the "steel bowstring". I believe that both explanations from the "experts" are wrong. I believe that the steel bowstring was used because of the enormous strength required to bend this very thick steel bow. Normal bowstrings couldn't handle the task. Mine has an inscription and appears to be dated 1335. Does your have a mark or inscription? I have a ton of info and many photos. I have never participated in a forum before, and don't know how much info to post, or how many photos to attach. I tried to attach a photo but it is too large. I will reduce it and include it in a separate posting. Jim MacDougald
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Old 7th February 2012, 12:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim MacDougald
...have spent a lot of time researching it, including buying all the books I can find....
.... I believe that both explanations from the "experts" are wrong. I believe that the steel bowstring was used because of the enormous strength required to bend this very thick steel bow. Normal bowstrings couldn't handle the task....
....Jim MacDougald


Welcome Jim.
Crossbows is out of my league, but did you check the book : "Crossbows in the Netherlands Army Museum".

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 7th February 2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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Hello Jim,
Can you show the photos of the mark on your crossbow?
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Old 7th February 2012, 03:59 PM   #9
Jim MacDougald
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I'm stumped! I use IPhoto. I have a ton of pictures, but I cannot figure out how to make them fall within your posting limitations. There does not appear to be a tool in the IPhoto software to do this.
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Old 7th February 2012, 06:59 PM   #10
fernando
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Hi Jim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim MacDougald
I'm stumped! I use IPhoto. I have a ton of pictures, but I cannot figure out how to make them fall within your posting limitations. There does not appear to be a tool in the IPhoto software to do this.

You may send your pictures to me; we will then try and fix things.
fernando@vickingsword.com
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Old 7th February 2012, 07:10 PM   #11
Norman McCormick
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Hi Jim,
Re your problem using IPhoto. Double click on the photo you wish to use, go to FILE and choose EXPORT. Go to SIZE and choose CUSTOM. I usually set 750 as my max dimension as I tend to shoot in 2560x1920 and at 750 it reduces the file size to a postable level. Choose the DESKTOP as your export destination as when you CHOOSE FILE in the Vikingsword MANAGE ATTACHMENTS it is easy to find the right photo quickly rather than search through your albums. I hope this is helpful. If you need any more help please ask either here or in a P.M.
Regards,
Norman.

P.S. You can then drag the image from the desktop into the trash and get rid of it from your desktop in the normal manner but still have your original image unaltered in IPhoto.
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Old 6th February 2012, 03:43 PM   #12
Jim MacDougald
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Attached is photo of "steel bowstring" crossbow that I was unable to attach to previous post. Jim MacDougald
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Old 6th February 2012, 06:16 PM   #13
fernando
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Welcome to the forum, Jim
As you can see, your photo could have been at least three times as large. Maybe the problem was not its dimensions but the file size (1 MB limit).
Actually you can post pictures up to 1280X1280 pixels, although 1024 seem to be more adjusted to the screens.
The picture you posted was 320X240. Quite a pity, as your crossbow became so less visible.
... and feel free to post as much info as you have available
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Old 7th February 2012, 03:39 PM   #14
Jim MacDougald
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Thanks! I'm attaching a hand-drawn replication of the inscription on my crossbow. The folks at the Royal Armouries (RA) believe that the date probably is 1835, not 1335, which is possible because the inscription is hard to read. But it is done in a medieval style, with colons separating entries. It just doesn't LOOK like a 19th century inscription to me. But RA is convinced that this crossbow was designed either for firing incendiaries or as a "trap" bow, most likely because it is a logical explanation of the need for a steel bowstring. A steel bowstring would be fireproof (a good thing when using incendiaries!), and a steel-stringed trap bow would be weatherproof. But I can find no evidence of purpose-built "incendiary firing crossbows" in the 18th or 19th centuries, or any other century, for that matter. Nor can I find an example of a "trap" crossbow with a steel string, especially one that was built in the 18th or 19th centuries using 15th century design. The trigger mechanism on my crossbow is extremely primitive, and not at all similar to crossbows in use for sporting purposes in the 18th and 19th centuries. I have the book from the Royal Netherlands Army Museum, but it has no similar crossbow. I contacted them, and the crossbow expert has left their museum. I also have the 1903 seminal work on crossbows by Payne-Gallwey. While it has a lot of interesting information, it does not address the "steel string" type. I am convinced that the reason this bow has a "steel bowstring" is because the extremely heavy and barely flexible bow could not have been drawn back with traditional bowstring. The bowstring would have broken or stretched. I have "cocked" this bow, and it stores enormous kinetic force. Thanks for any input you may be able to provide. Jim (Whoops! Tried to attach photo, but it is, again, too large. Will try to remake it and attach to next post)
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