Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:00 am

    Hi, gang. I have been giving a great deal of thought to how I want to sign my crossbows. I think Geezer puts his initials in the butts of his weapons with brass nails (hope I got that right), and Lightly has a little canine that she attaches to each bow. I was thinking along those lines, but also, does anyone know if medieval crossbow makers put some sort of stamp, trademark logo, guild symbol, etc. on their bows? I have seen maker marks on least on one tickler, if memory serves right, and in Roman times, makers sometimes marked products with a symbol or initials. I’ve done some web searches, but can’t seem to come up with medieval guild symbols, though I seem to recall seeing them in the past.

    Any help would be appreciated!

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    Post by mac on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:24 am

    Dane,

    Steel prods sometimes have what appear to be makers marks in them, but I suspect that the guy who made the prod was a specialist, and did not make the rest of the crossbow. Likewise, it would not surprise me if the mark that you saw on a trigger was the mark of a specialist. It seems likely to me that the crossbow maker would contract with specialists for the parts he could not easily or cheaply make himself.

    I put my small armorer's mark on the trigger and stirrup, but do not mark the weapon in any other way. If I was making bows commercially, I suppose I would mark them more conspicuously.

    If you want to put a maker's mark's mark of some sort on your crossbows, I think you should do what ever pleases you. Many commercial woodworkers have "branding irons" made up with their logo. That might be a way to go.

    Mac
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:40 am

    Mac, I figured about what you have told me, thank you.

    I am still interested in seeing examples of medieval guild marks, if such things existed, or trade symbols (silversmiths, candle makers, fabric makers, bankers, bakers, etc) as a point of departure to designing something of my own.

    If I could ask, I'd love to see one of your crossbows.

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    Post by Geezer on Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:47 am

    Yes, all Medieval guilds used marks. Crossbow makers had marks, as well as prod-makers, locksmiths, and all the other specialists. I have seen some lists of crossbow makers-marks, but can't say I really know anything about them. There are scholars who have studied such things. Some googling may be in order. Geezer
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    Post by Armbrustier on Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:05 am

    I must say that I have not seen any mark on a crossbow that seems to be a mark from the crossbow maker.

    The Italian Venice(?) crossbow makers guild laws from the year 1260 mentions that the crossbow makers should put a mark on their crossbows, but as there are no crossbows left from the time, we can’t see what they looked like.

    There are many horn bow crossbows that have Zeughaus marks (Arsenal marks) at the bow end of the tiller.

    I have seen one crossbow with a four leaf clover mark burned into the shoulder side of the tiller, but this was probably also a Zeughaus mark.
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    Post by mac on Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:41 am

    stoneagebowyer wrote:
    If I could ask, I'd love to see one of your crossbows.

    Dane

    There are a couple of pics in this thread... http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t223p15-wood-prods-general-question If I get a chance, I will try to dig out my ballestrino and get some pics of that as well.

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    Post by petercro on Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:02 pm

    The type of mark is dependant on you.
    Mousey Thompson an old English Cabinat maker carves a mouse on all his furniture.
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    Pick something you like and make that your mark.

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    Post by Geezer on Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:49 pm

    Geezer here: If I recall correctly... and maybe not. Swiss arms and armor scholar Eugen Heer has published works on makers marks for weapons, including guns and crossbows. A search under his name may bring you the information you need.
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:07 am

    No luck so far, Geezer. And I also spend some time searching for examples of town arsenal marks, but again with no luck. The net can be frustrating, and my best avenue is probably published works, but finding what works have such info is becomeing trying.

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    Post by Ivo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:21 pm

    My kind of topic. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

    I have been thinking and searching for this info for a long time and it came down to this (no actual examples, but...).

    I also think it really depended on the specialization of the craftsman...something that most adhered to the heart. If he liked the wood work - the mark would most likely be placed in/on the wood; If metal - it would end up stamped in metal. I've seen Russian guys stamp it into the tickler and gilded with a bit of gold.

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    Post by genesis on Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:18 pm

    Hi petercro...the last time I saw a mouse on furniture etc was on a school trip near Kilburn,northen England,where the craftsmen were still carrying on the traditional way of signing their work;some 43 years ago.
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:37 am

    I started thinking about coats of arms and medival city symbols, and looked around a bit. I was stationed near Augsburg, Germany, and the city symbol was a pine cone, derived from the Roman legion's symbol who founded a camp which would eventually become a city in 15BC.

    I have very fond memories of my time there, so why not that?

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    Post by Michael on Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:00 am

    Dane: Your up early guy> I just could / maybe have the answer for you?!!!.... There is a Book out called "Crossbows in the Royal Netherlands Army Museum" written by a friend of mine Mr. Jens Sensfelder of Germany. Its a fine read loaded with all kinds of information. The book itself is not cheap. Ive seem from $50.00 to $150.00 US. The book is printed in three language at the same time! Chapter 3 is where you want to start. Ok Dane talk to you later. Mike
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:32 pm

    I am always up early, Mike, because I like the quiet of early morning, and my pug Davenport likes to get me up at 0-dark-30. Smile I havent slept in past 6 AM in the last 5 years because of her, but I dont mind. She is never grouchy in the AM, coffee or not.

    I just ordered the book from Amazon! Excited to get it. Good suggestion, so thank you.

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