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    Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

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    stoneagebowyer
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    Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:35 pm





    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.

    Dane
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:37 pm





    Here are a few of the bow string eyes.
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:39 pm





    And the bolts.
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:43 pm





    The quiver. I can't yet figure out how it fit on a belt. Maybe I am just not looking at it correctly.
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:47 pm





    Finally, the cranquin. What a beautiful piece of engineering and craftsmenship.

    Enjoy! I have tried to take these shots from the perspective of a builder.

    Dane
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:56 pm

    I should be negligent if I didnt include the guy we would be shooting at, too. Smile
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by Basilisk120 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:38 pm

    Hey thanks for the picture those are great. Very Happy

    I find it interesting that the tiller is asymmetrical at the butt. Defiantly an interesting feature.

    And thanks for the picture of the bolts, the groove in the bolt for the wood vane is nice. I am working on something like that and it helps to see the original.

    I think with the quiver there is a loop on the back that has fallen off.

    But here is a picture of the quiver in action



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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by Basilisk120 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:44 pm

    Another picture with the quivers.

    Apparently they have a built in belt.
    http://www.themorgan.org/collections/works/cleves/manuscript.asp?page=97



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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:54 am

    Thank you, Basilisk120. The guy who just got shot looks very pissed, and I suspect he is going to get the shooter, who is foolishly standing in a stream of water.

    I looked at that image from themorgan.org site you linked. It looks like there are two quivers made of fabric, tied with knots at the bottom corners. But I may be reading the image wrong. It would be easy to make that kind of quiver, which seems similar to the arrow bags the English longbowmen used.

    The horizontal strap on the back has a stud on one side, so maybe a belt loop went there. Something certainly did.
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by Basilisk120 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:48 am

    stoneagebowyer wrote:
    I looked at that image from themorgan.org site you linked. It looks like there are two quivers made of fabric, tied with knots at the bottom corners. But I may be reading the image wrong. It would be easy to make that kind of quiver, which seems similar to the arrow bags the English longbowmen used.

    I think those are bags for stones for the stone bow. On the right side of the page is a crossbow with crossbow quivers above and below so it would seem that the bags above and below the stone bow are accoutrements for that bow. But those could be related to bag quivers for arrows.



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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by Ivo on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:29 pm

    Thanks for the pics stoneagebowyer, at some point we were really after the exact picture of the quiver showing the mounting straps in the back. Good stuff. Very Happy

    And yeh, that guy with the bolt in his arm does look pissed as hell, haha wonder if that's a rolled up parchment in his other hand or a little club with intent to beat the bloody hell out of the attacker...I mean that's what I'd be after while the dude is reloading.

    Basilisk, great observation on the stone bags, i didn't put that one together right away, but the stone bow was a good hint.

    Thanks for the pics guys.




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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:14 am

    My pleasure on the photos, Ivo. I am just lucky to have such a weapon within driving distance to photograph. If i can convince the museum to measure it, all the better.

    I think the guy who just got shot is a poacher, and that thing in his hand is a bill hook or some sort of agricultural tool to pull down branches. It maybe be a club of sorts, though. And I think the marshall (or whoever is doing the shooting) is standing in a road, not a stream. Pretty rocky road. Smile
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by Lightly on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:34 am

    Excellent photos!

    And, it JUST so happens that I am embarking on my own Excellent Adventure.. a friend wants me to build her an Ulrich, as close to the one in the Metropolitan as possible, for the most part:
    http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/40000132
    That Ulrich is very similar to the one that you took these great photos of at the Higgins, Stoneagebowyer!

    I am especially glad to see the shape at the end of the tail, the butt end. That is not shown in the Metropolitan's photos. And, I really had wanted to see that, so, thank you again!
    If you DO have an in, and could ever get close enough to that bow, to hold a ruler alongside the top and the side? I would REALLY appreciate that! Most important, is the measurement from the very tip of the top deck, to the binding hole, and the middle of the lock.

    And, of course, the entire length.

    And, I have a question for all of you. While Dawn wants the Ulrich in the Metro, she wants the bone inlay on the sides to be rather more of a flambeau shape, that is, a long bit of bone that ends (or starts, depending on your viewpoint!) in a lovely flamelike 'wiggle'.

    I have found a few photos of a bow with this design; one, of course, is right next to the Ulrich in the Metropolitan! But, I cannot find much in the way of a really good close up..

    Anyone have any good photos of that? I need to get it clear enough to make a pattern to cut the bone out to shape it for the inlay on her bow.

    And, I think it is past time to find a scroll saw... making 3 or 4 of those flambeau's from bone is going to be interesting...
    Again, thank you, Stone age bowyer, lovely photos! And of course, great ones of the quiver too, I had wanted badly to see the backs of those quivers, someday (in my copious spare time) I want to make a few of those, as well...
    best!

    Lightly

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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by 8fingers on Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:35 pm

    I think the asymmetric butt would allow the eye to get closer to the center line of the bolt.
    I was wondering if the the crossbowman in the illustration is standing on a wall?
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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:39 pm

    Lightly, thank you, and good luck with that build. We all love I think the Count Ulrich crossbow.

    Regarding measuring the actual bow, that will have to be arranged, and I have to float the idea, so it may be some time. If it happens, I will of course make all info available to this community. I'll measure all features, and all proportions of the bow, including of course spanning distance, hight and width at all points on the bow, etc,

    The assymetrical butt stock feature especially I was thrilled to see in person, and all bows I make for here on out in the German style I will incorporate that feature into. The bone work she wants is going to be a real challenge, so good luck with that.

    I assured Mike I will be posting progress on the bow I am building him, and that wont be too long until I have enough material to start a decent thread.

    If you want to send me your email via PM, Lightly, I can send you all the photos I took, about 75 or so. There were just too many to post here all at once.

    Dane

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    Re: Original 14th century German crossbow photos, from Higgins Armory.

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