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Old 18th March 2013, 07:43 PM   #1
David Jaumann
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Default archery in 15th century germany

Hi to everyone!
Apart from my interest in crossbows, Im also very interested in archery. Id like to find out more about german archery during the late 15th century.
Ive already done some researches, but I think that I didnt find out as much about it as I would like to know!

There is one wooden burgundian bow exposed in the "germanisches Nationalmuseum" of Nuremberg which originaly came from Schloss Hohenaschau. It is made of laburnum which looks a bit simular to yew because it also has sap- and heartwood. The bow has a reflex in the handle area and the last 10cm before the tips are also slightly reflex. The tips which hold the sinew are made of antler or ivory and they are nicely carved. Both limbs have a pentagonal shape which are grooved around each edge.
The broadness of the bow is 33mm in the handle area and 13mm at both tips.

According to Holger Riesch, the bow was made in about 1480, but there are also people who believe that it was made during the 16th century.
In the armory inventories of 1530, there are three bows mentioned, which belonged to Schloss Hohenaschau. Two of the bows were made of yew and the third bow is labeled as "alter Pogen", which could be the Hohenaschaubogen.
There are more similar bows from the 17-19th century that mostly come from France or Swizerland, Does it mean that the burgundian bow maybe was fashionable for 400years?!

Does anyone know more about burgundian bows of the 15th century?
How could the two yew bows have looked like? (Ive read that there were a view english archers under Kaiser Maximilian, but only during the early 16th century, but the two yew bows could also be target- or huntingbows)


There are also some 15th century pictures of the martyrium of St. Sebastian, which show different types of bows beside crossbows. There is one altar with in Cologne with english-warbow-archers. And there are several other martyrium pictures which show archers with composite bows. Some of these archers wear oriental clothes. The composite bow as well as the turban could be symbols of the pagandom. But some other archers with composite bows do also wear usual "german" clothes, which could mean that there were indeed composite bows used in Germany. The appearance of crossbowmen with typical german crossbows next to these archers (with both dress styles) could fortify my second theory.

So were there maybe also some bowyers in Germany who used to make composite bows and crossbows like you can see in "Die Hornbogenarmbrust" on p.148 or is it more likely that these bows were imported from Poland or Italy? Or were there no composite bows at all in Germany?


I would be very happy, if someone could contribute to this topic! That would be very nice!

Thank you,
David

PS: pictures of different qualities will follow!

Last edited by David Jaumann : 18th March 2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 19th March 2013, 08:29 AM   #2
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Some pictures of the burgundian bow from Hohenaschau...
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Old 19th March 2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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some other burgundian bows of the 17th or 18th century.
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Old 19th March 2013, 08:40 AM   #4
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some other burgundian bows. The two bows which ar next to each other are exposed in the Jagd und Fischereimuseum of Munich. Both bows are from Lyon and they are from about 1700. But the basic style is still the same!
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Old 19th March 2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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one more...
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Old 19th March 2013, 08:51 AM   #6
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some pictures with archers. They are from the 15th and 16th century.
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Old 19th March 2013, 08:54 AM   #7
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more pictures...
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Old 21st March 2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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A pity there are no members chiming in to discuss this subject with you, David !
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Old 23rd March 2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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Nice photo's and an interesting subject....the problem is a lack of anything to add. My area is more English/Welsh Longbows, rather than Continental. I know that the French tried to raise a force of archers to match the English during the 100 years war...and some French towns still have festivals originaly started as archery contests at this time. Burgundy hired most of it's archers from Britain, and Anglo-Welsh archers served in Spain with the Black Prince, and in Italy with Hawkswood. Longbows in Germany is a new one to me, and something I will enquire about when next at the RAM.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
...Burgundy hired most of it's archers from Britain ...

I can't resist the off topic .
In the Battle of Aljubarrota (1385) a decisive confirmation of Portugal independence from Spain, English archers were of tremendous help, aligning with Portuguese crossbow men.
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