The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Crossbow
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • South Germany
  • c. 1487 - 1500
  • Steel, antler, wood, gold, iron, paint, parchment, cord and leather, gilded and carved
  • Length: 72 cm
    Length: 59.6 cm, span of bow
    Weight: 4.4 kg
  • Maker's mark
  • A1032
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This is a very high status weapon, used not for war but for hunting and conspicuous display. The stock (tiller) is entirely overlaid with antler carved in imitation of ivory, depicting knights, hunting scenes, courtly lovers, Adam and Eve, and St. George and the Dragon. The bow-stave is made not of horn, wood and sinew, as was common at this time, but the finest steel, evidence of ‘cutting edge’ technology found only on the finest of weapons. A painted coat-of-arms identifies this remarkable bow as having once belonged to the Völs Colonna family, from the South Tyrol.