Hello, fellow crossbowmen. I spend some hours at the Higgins Armory Musuem, in Worchester, MA today, and took a great number of photos of what I consider to be the finest thing in the entire museum. It is a 14th century German crossbow, displayed with a cranquin, a really nice quiver, and some bolts.
I took nearly 100 usible photos, and here are a few. I noticed a great number of small details that really had me thinking. One, the bridle hole, round and I am guessing 1.25" or more in diameter, is set very high up in the tiller. The bone pieces used for inlaying the table are cut at an acute angle, more than 45 degrees, as they butt against each other. The lock plate is horn, and beautiful, and the prod, a composite, has on one tip, a little drawing of Eve, which is a pretty cool little detail. The bow string looks orignal to the bow, and has been coated with what looks liek some sort of grease or wax. The bridle binding cords are pretty fat, maybe 4 or 5mm in diameter. The butt plate is I think antler, and the tiller is crafted angled in on the shooter side (if he is right handed), which is a detail that I had wondered about but not picked up well in photos I have seen.
The quiver is excellent, and I got some shots of the back as well as the front and side, and details. It looks like wood, with leather at the top and fur, maybe bear, which is very worn but looks clean. The bolts are nice too, and you can clearly see the grooves for the "feathers," which are wood, and a bit of those remain. The shafts are all tapered toward the rear of the bolts.
If they havent already done it, I am going to see about having or helpiig to have measurements taken of this weapon. I have some ins with the museum, having done some work for them over the years as part of a Roman legionary program. A complete replica of this bow would be an awesome task, and I wonder if one day that can happen.
I hope these are useful to all of you. I have more, as well, but here are a few.