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Old 31st October 2011, 05:58 PM   #61
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Thank you so much for contributing this period artwork, 'Nando!

Best,
Michl
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Old 4th January 2012, 06:29 PM   #62
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Some interesting illustrations from an Alamanic or Swiss manuscript, ca. 1430.

Best,
Michael
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Old 6th January 2012, 02:50 PM   #63
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A gothic crossbow with horn bow dating c. 1430-1460.
This crossbow failed to sell at an auction some years ago, because it was wrongly described as Scandinavian dating c. 1500.
A few years later I saw it in a private collection, where I took the photo.
In this collection was also another crossbow of typical central European shape with a tiller made of fruit-wood and a spanning-hook at the upper side.
Both crossbows had identical (really identical, not only similar) elements:
The strongly reflex horn-bow, the stirrup, the cord binding and the trigger lever. Therefore both crossbows must have been made by the same maker or in the same wokshop. This workshop was in South-Tyrol. This is proofed by an exhibition label on the bow inscibed by hand with No. XII and with a latin text stating that this cossbow was was once in the collection of Castle Rodeneck (South-Tyrol),and dated 11.April 1891.
The crossbow on the photo is a somewhat simlpler version than the usually known ones. The tiller is made of more durable oak, the side plates are iron sheets instead of less durable horn plates. The only decoration are the horn plates on the upper side. The spanning- hook is on the bottom side, probably for a cord-puller, as can be seen on Italian paintings of the period.
While the horn inlaid crossbows with fruit-wood tillers can be described as all purpose crossbows suitable for sporting, hunting and war, the crossbow on the photo is surely only for one purpose. It is a war-crossbow.
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Old 8th January 2012, 02:50 PM   #64
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I have known this crossbow since it first appeared on the market and I too know who it is with. There are some doubts about it, but anyway the iron side plates are of a surface that keeps me from thinking it might be all original. After all, a label from 1891, the heyday of the Victorian period (German Historismus) when many of these arms were widely reproduced, is certainly no proof of Gothic authenticity, at best of Neo-Gothic made ...

So I had my reasons for not posting it here.

Best,
Michael
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Old 8th January 2012, 05:02 PM   #65
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There can be no doubt that this is a gothic crossbow. As
mentioned before all elements of this crossbow, except of
the stock, are identical to a known typical central european
crossbow. The iron side plates are nearly identical to the side
plates on the Wall-crossbow you posted in thread #40.
The crossbow was in the collection of an experienced collector
who still owns the other one with the bone inlaid fruit-wood stock.

Last edited by Swordfish : 8th January 2012 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 9th January 2012, 05:28 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swordfish
The iron side plates are nearly identical to the side
plates on the Wall-crossbow you posted in thread #40.


But their surface does not commensurate with the alleged period of the other components! And the collector has been in close contact with a number of German and Austrian forgers over the decades, they have been interchanging various arms for display in their repective collections. I noticed the same crossbow in another far-off collection about one year after is was for sale with HH.
m
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Old 10th January 2012, 03:59 PM   #67
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I must agree with Michael on this one, I don’t like it.
And I didn’t like it when I first saw it at Hermann-Historica either. Then it turned up in Holger Richters, Die Hornbogenarmbrust: Geschichte und Technik (Gebundene Ausgabe - Oktober 2006), where it still was said that it was a Scandinavian crossbow. I tried to convince Richter that the Scandinavian Saami crossbows had tillers somewhat similar to this but not until the 18th c, and there was certainly no people that could make horn bows left at that time, but he still thought that it was a Scandinavian crossbow.

“Both crossbows had identical (really identical, not only similar) elements:
The strongly reflex horn-bow, the stirrup, the cord binding and the trigger lever. Therefore both crossbows must have been made by the same maker or in the same workshop.”

Is it possible that you could show us the other crossbow that you say is identical to this one?
Do you know the dimensions of this crossbow?
Is it a wall-crossbow or a big handheld crossbow?

Here I must say that I have never seen a horn bow of this size with this much reflex, of course I know of the early crossbows like W1109 in Köln, but they are of another time and type.
Can you show me a similar reflexed bow?

The yellow-greenish cord binding looks suspect to me and most probably not original. The stirrup should be lashed to the bow with leather and not the cord binding that holds the bow. The stirrup doesn’t look like anything I have seen before, it’s very thin and the outside ridge looks like it’s pressed from the inside, it looks very suspect.

This is the first old (?) crossbow that I have seen with a tiller of oak.

“There can be no doubt that this is a gothic crossbow. As mentioned before all elements of this crossbow, except of the stock, are identical to a known typical central european crossbow. The iron side plates are nearly identical to the side plates on the Wall-crossbow you posted in thread #40.”

I’m sorry but I can’t see anything on this one that I would say is typical of a central European medieval crossbow. If it had had a bow shaped more like the one in thread #40, and of similar size, I would have it easier to accept it.

Mikael Dahlström,
Stockholm Lockbow Society,
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Old 10th January 2012, 06:26 PM   #68
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Excellent notations, Mikael, and exactly on the point!

All crossbow tillers I have seen were of either fruitwood or lime wood, except this one.

Best,
Michael
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Old 11th January 2012, 12:56 PM   #69
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Hi Michael!

Are you sure that it was lime wood? Any photo's?

I have seen many paintings with light coloured wellowish tillers that looks like they probably are too light to be fruitwood, but I havn't seen anything like it that has survived in any museum.

Mikael Dahlström,
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Old 11th January 2012, 07:20 PM   #70
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Hi Mikael,

I cannot seem to find the photos of the crossbow with that kind of wavy grain on the tiller that made me think of maple or limewood. So just forget about my idea. I also talked to my friend whose special collection I posted,

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...othic+crossbows

and he testified that all Gothic crossbow tillers he had ever seen were of fruitwood, mostly pear and cherry, including the three fine pieces he owns.

The white tillers you mentioned might have remained 'in the white', unvarnished, as many sources of period artwork (paintings) indicate, as well as the stocks of many early arquebuses. I'm also afraid none of those seems have survived, maybe partly due to later cleaning or restoring measures - or simply to hundreds of years of exposition to daylight.

It's so good to have a member with your range of experience here on the forum - so WELCOME!

Best,
Michael

Last edited by Matchlock : 11th January 2012 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 12th January 2012, 04:02 PM   #71
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Hi Michael!

Thank you for the nice words and the welcome , but I think I still have a lot more learning to do about my special interest, “Late Gothic horn bow Crossbows and Accouterments”!

I would like to have a collection like your friend has!!!
Do you think he is willing to testament it to me?

I guess that maple is a better choice than lime, I think that lime wood is probably a bit too soft for a crossbow tiller.

I probably know which crossbow you meant. The crossbow in the Osthofentor Museum in Soest has a tiller that has the striped look of maple, the same wood as used for violins and other instruments of that type. The tiller wood on this crossbow is stained to have a pear/cherry color and not the natural light color of maple, but I think that almost all crossbow tillers were stained during medieval times, (and maybe later also). This crossbow has some odd inlays and a unique type of dotted pattern on the bow, but I think it is authentic.

Micke Dahlström,
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Old 13th January 2012, 06:50 PM   #72
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Hi Micke,

You are completely right about the Soest crossbow, this was the one I meant.

Nevertheless, we know many paintings with white, unvarnished crossbow tillers and arquebuses. I am conviced that in times of war, wood on weapons was only meant to survive for few days or weeks, at best. Then the stocks were broken at best and replaced. Even in Thirty Yeras War paintings, we notice white stocks on both matchlock and wheellock guns. I guess, due to their quick consumption they were just not worth staining.
In my collection, a ca. 1645 Austrian matchlock musket is preserved with white (now heavily patinated) beechwood stock. It came from the Styrian castle of Schloss Frondsberg, from where about 15 similar muskets were sold via Tom Del Mar a couple of years ago, all in the same untouched condition with rust patinated iron parts and unstained stocks, with all the traces of original carving still visible.
A few images attached.

What's even more, I own the earliest known completelety preserved gun in the world, High Gothic, ca. 1400, the lock mechnism and hook being working time alterations of ca. 1430. Its crude oak stock much resembles a compemporary crossbow tiller (!), it is of heavily patinated brownish gray surface and shows no traces of staining whatsoever.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=oldest+handgun


Remember: crosssbow bolts (quarrels) were an absolute mass production and certainly not stained originally - and look at their dark colored oak or ash surfaces now!


As to limewood, it is not only soft and easy to carve but at the same time very tough. As I mentioned various times, most early 16th c. arquebus stocks were made of limewood, as their very special scent of incense denotes.

Best,
Michael
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Old 13th January 2012, 10:42 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micke D
Hi Michael!

I would like to have a collection like your friend has!!!
Do you think he is willing to testament it to me?


Micke Dahlström,
Stockholm Lockbow Society,
Sweden



Hi Micke,

Most of his collection used to be in mine before we got to know each other and I decided on concentrating on earliest firearms and accouterments, which turned out to totally absorb my time, knowledge and money ...

I'll make contacts between the two of you though.

Best,
Michael
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Old 13th January 2012, 11:20 PM   #74
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Oh, i wish i could find a genuine hilt for my katzbalger

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14555
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Old 14th January 2012, 12:14 AM   #75
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Hi 'Nando,

As I said: take off the outcurved sides of the wood with a raw rasp to smoothen them, then touch them with glue and apply a rough cord binding. You may then stain the hemp binding brown with wood stain. All that hasn't to be done though to make your Katzbalger look good and authentic. It already does, at least to me.
Did you soak the iron parts in olive oil? Smoothen them just lightly with 600 grain paper and oil them!!! You will be overwhelmed!!!!

BTW, are you sure your post was placed in the right thread, my friend?

Best,
Michl
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Old 14th January 2012, 05:28 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
BTW, are you sure your post was placed in the right thread, my friend?


You are obviously right, Michl .
I have already moved your and my post to the correct thread

.

Last edited by fernando : 14th January 2012 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 18th January 2012, 03:00 PM   #77
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Hi Micke,

This is the by far earliest known dated but composite cranequin: 1474 and a Gothic trefoil decoration (three punch marks) on the ratched bar, which is doubtlessly the earliest part of the cranequin. The date is struck in correct Late Gothic cyphers, and the lichen-like patina seems absolutely correct to me.
The short length of the bar (without the belt hook) of only about 34 cm is also a Late Gothic phenomenon, and so is the shape of the claws. The gear box seems to be a primitive 17th c. addition when this cranequin was possibly re-used onsome farm or so. The long and straight iron handle also shows Gothic style elements and might well have originally belonged.

It was sold for about 600 euro at a Danish auction house in November 2010, maybe not exactly the real deal for an advanced collector because of the crude alteration.

Best,
Michael
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Old 20th January 2012, 02:57 PM   #78
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A fine piece of period artwork, a psalter illumination of ca. 1300-10, Lake Constance area, Southern Germany, showing scenes from the life of St. Katharina of Alexandria.

Please note the reinforcements of the bow.

Best,
Michael
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Old 10th February 2012, 04:36 PM   #79
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Default A Late Gothic Cranequin, ca. 1500

Overall length of the ratched bar 43 cm.
In poor, overcleaned and pitted condition throughout: the original lower cord loop for attaching to the crossbow inaptly replaced by an iron clamp, several rivets obviously replaced, as well as the original wooden crank arm handle.
The bar struck with a maker's mark, now indistinct as mostly polished off.

Best,
Michael
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Old 11th February 2012, 02:02 PM   #80
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Default The famous Baumkircher Crossbow Preserved in the Vienna Imperial Armory

Author's photos, 1994.

This Late Gothic crossbow, Vienna inv.no. A 108, ca. 1460-70, with painted composite horn bow is of unusual dimensions, denoting that its owner, knight Andreas Baumkircher, who was executed in 1471, was a man of enormous physique. His coat-of-arms, a church and a house, is painted on the underside of the bow against a read ground, amidst yellow rays against a green ground.

The second Late Gothic crossbow of about the same date is also preserved in Vienna, inv.no. A 464; the long trigger indicates that the rear of the tiller (now heavily wormed) was originally ca. 10-15 cm longer.

Best,
Michael
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Last edited by fernando : 19th February 2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: correction required by post author
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Old 11th February 2012, 02:05 PM   #81
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One more photo of the Baumkircher crossbow, and the other Vienna crossbow. Please note that the latter is not yet equipped with the 'usual' lateral lugs for the cranequin loop but still features the earlier hook on top of the tiller for attacchin the spanning belt that was the predecessor of the cranequin. The earlest cranequins seem to turn up around the mid-15th c.

m


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Last edited by fernando : 19th February 2012 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Correction required by post author
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Old 19th February 2012, 12:27 PM   #82
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A late-15th c. Gothic crossbow with horn composite bow, sold cheaply at a Stockholm auction in 1996.

Best,
Michael
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Old 19th February 2012, 01:12 PM   #83
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Default Crossbow vs. a Light Cannon Ball in 1487

A votive painting by the German mercenary Ludwig Klingkhamer, who was shot by a falconet ball lelow the North Italian fortress of Rovereto during the Venetian War in 1487. He survived and consequently donated this painting the blatancy and drastic decidedness of which still strikes us in every single detail after more than 500 years.

Please note the smashed crossbow parts at the left of the borse's fore legs, the bolts in the horse's body, as well as the shape of the Gothic numerals 1487.

Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 19th February 2012 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 19th February 2012, 02:10 PM   #84
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Gosh
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Old 22nd February 2012, 02:26 PM   #85
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A very nice South German Early Renaissance cranequin, ca. 1540, preserved in completely original condition, wrought iron with brass applications. The maker's mark, a crescent and two pellets, is well known but cannot be attributed to an identified person. Brass applications in iron works - and weapons - are known to have been in use from ca. 1470-1550, and then again around 1700.

What is highly unusual with this cranequin is the the fact that the cord loop for attaching the spanning device to the lugs on the crossbow tiller is internally reinforced here with strands of iron wire. This remarkable feature becomes visible only thru a small damage of the loop.

German private collection.

Best,
Michael
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Old 22nd February 2012, 03:22 PM   #86
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Default A Late Gothic Crossbow, ca. 1460-70, in the Museum of Morges, Switzerland

The cranequin mounted is about contemporary; the one displayed on the right is notably shorter and can be dated to ca. 1500, the belt hook is missing. The sporting crossbow seems to be German, ca. 1600-1650.

Please note the b/w illustration of a cross section of a Late Gothic composite horn bow. I posted such remarkable coss sections of horn bows preserved in the Swiss collections of Lucerne and Zürich here before.

Best,
Michael
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Old 23rd February 2012, 04:04 PM   #87
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And here is the sister to the cranequin that Michael posted.
It's located in Skokloster in Sweden.
It's from the same maker but it is a bit more stripped, not much of housing left.
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Old 25th February 2012, 05:44 PM   #88
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Default One of the Finest Late Gothic Crossbows in Existence, ca. 1480

I was told that this one was preserved in The Royal Armouries Leeds but it was not on display when I was there, nor was is exhibited in The Tower of London.

Does anybody have a clue - Micke?

Best,
Michael
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Old 25th February 2012, 06:58 PM   #89
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I just found out it actually is in Leeds. Here is more of it.

In our opinion, this item should be definitely dated about a quarter of a century earlier than the RA believe it is.

m
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Last edited by Matchlock : 26th February 2012 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 27th February 2012, 06:49 AM   #90
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I think that this one could be from 1480-1490 or something like that, based on the strange and probably early four-axle lock mechanism.

I have written a little article explaining my thoughts about how this one is related to two other 15th c crossbows.

This one wasn't displayed when I was at Leeds either, but the floor with the hunting stuff was closed for rebuilding/rearranging or something like that.

I don't know if it has been displayed in modern times at all? I guess there would be more photos of it if it has been shown.

Last edited by Micke D : 27th February 2012 at 09:20 AM.
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