The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Crossbow
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany or Spain
  • c. 1500
  • Steel, wood, iron, horn, ivory and cord
  • Length: 100 cm
    Length: 45.8 cm, span of bow
    Weight: 2.64 kg
  • Incised mark: Two indecipherable marks
  • A1033
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Crossbow, the strong steel bow, with two indecipherable marks on the inner surface, fastened by an iron bridle to the stock and carrying a stirrup for the foot.

    Long slender stock of dark wood ornamented with small lozenge-shaped inlays of horn on the upper side. On the underside, in front of the trigger-lever at the place where the stock is gripped by the left hand, the surface is roughened with fine parallel ridges in low relief. On the underside at the forward end is an iron hook, probably for suspension, and farther back is a short hook or claw for use when bending the bow with a cord and pulley.

    There is a groove for the bolt. Nut of walrus ivory. A small portion of wood has been broken away from the end of the butt.

    The cord remains. Long trigger-lever of hexagonal section.

    German or Spanish, about 1500.

    The nut is without an axle of any sort. It is retained by being larger than the hole of entry, except when it is rolled back until the forward edge of the cord-slot coincides with the rear lip of the hole, when the nut can be lifted out. The lever-trigger acts directly on the underside of the nut.