The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Crossbow
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1650
  • Steel, cord, silk, walnut, mother-of-pearl, gold and antler, engraved inlaid and gilded
  • Length: 66 cm
    Length: 56.7 cm, span of bow
    Weight: 2.36 kg
  • Maker's mark Stamped
  • A1040
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Crossbow, the steel bow stamped on the inner side with a maker's mark. It is attached to the stock by a bridle of cord decorated with tassels of yellow silk, and similar small tassels are attached to the outer face of the bow at each end.

    Walnut stock or tiller, shaped with a cheek-piece to the butt like that of a rifle. There is a notch on the underside of the forward end for the left hand. Decorated with inlaid antler in the form of deer and hounds, the free spaces being filled with fine scrolls of antler and inlays of foliage in mother-of-pearl. The ornament is rather crude in design. There is no nut, the string being held by a pivoted steel catch. The horn spring which held the end of the bolt is missing, as also is the cross-piece which supported the neck at the forward end. There is a short groove for the bolt in front of the catch. This cross-bow is of the kind bent by a wooden lever of goat's foot type. Attached to the front end of the stock is a steel loop, showing traces of gilding, with which the hook of the lever engaged. Folding backsight with adjustable notch. Trigger with screw adjustment behind which is a cocking lever. The trigger-guard is indented for the fingers, and there is an oval depression for the thumb of the right hand in the upper part of the stock.

    German, about 1650.

    The mechanism is that illustrated by Alm, Europeiska armborst, fig. 41. The z-shaped spring in front of the jaws is missing. The jaws are opened by pushing forward the setting trigger. The mark is not recorded in Neue Støckel.