The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cranequin
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Zurich, Switzerland, possibly
  • 1545
  • Iron or steel, gold and ebony, engraved, etched and gilded
  • Length: 37.4 cm, bar
    Weight: 2.46 kg
  • Inscription: '1545' engraved
    Maker's mark: Cockerel with five pointed star to the left at the bottom
  • A1054
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cranequin or rack, almost the entire surface is etched with interlacing strapwork of arabesque design, the ground filled with small scrolls. The wheel-case, the claws of the ratchet bar, and the winding arm for half its length are gilt, the rest plain. At the base of the claws is deeply engraved the date 1545. On the inner side of each claw is a small hole, in which is pivoted the small pointed blade, with which cranequins were often provided, see also A1055 and 1057. A belt-hook is attached to the top of the ratchet bar. The wheel-case is stamped with the maker's mark. The cord loop remains. Winding handle with turned ebony grip and etched with decoration for about half its length.

    German (Henneberg ?) dated 1545.

    Cranequins stamped with the same mark are in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Victoria and Albert Museum (no. M 2745–1931), with the mark on the ratchet bar; the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna; the Hermitage, Leningrad (Lenz, p. 221, no. 0 53); and in the collection of the late M. Pauilhac. The mark of a cock and star was on a cranequin dated 1527, sold Sotheby's 6 June, 1935, lot 133, and another was formerly in the Zeughaus at Berlin. Compare the crossbow signed Han (Hahn), with the mark of a hen in the Hermitage (Lenz, p. 227, No. 0, 20).

    The mark consists of a cockerel with a five pointed star to the left at the bottom (Støckel, nos. f4956 and 4957; N. Støckel, I, p. 501, no. 7572). H. Schneider attributed it to a Zurich rack-maker by the name of Hartmann, active 1541-3. Racks with this mark are known with dates between 1544 and 1570 (Schweizer Waffenschmiede, Zurich 1976, p. 135).