The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Crossbow
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • England
  • 1583
  • Steel, cord, walnut and horn, engraved and inlaid
  • Length: 63.5 cm
    Length: 32 cm, span of bow
    Weight: 0.89 kg
  • Maker's mark Stamped on two places
    Inscription: 'PLESIR PASSE RICHESSE' AND '1583' Engraved
  • A1036
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Small crossbow, the steel bow stamped in two places with a maker's mark. It is secured to the stock by a steel bridle. The cord remains. At the forward end of the stock is attached a heart-shaped iron loop, and on the underside a short hook, both for suspension.

    Walnut tiller or stock inlaid with an ornament of flowing foliage of antler, partly stained green. Immediately behind the nut is an oval medallion of horn, engraved with a female head surrounded by an inscription PLESIR PASSE RICHESSE, and a date which appears to be 1583. There is a groove for the bolt inlaid with guilloche ornament in antler. Projecting steel lugs for the spanner.

    Long faceted trigger-lever of steel. The lever-trigger acts directly on the underside of the nut.

    Probably English, dated 1583.

    From its small size this crossbow must have been made for a woman or a child. Compare a similar mark on a crossbow in the Real Armeria at Madrid, no. J 16.