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    Crossbows at Castelnaud, France

    dutchbow
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    Crossbows at Castelnaud, France Empty Crossbows at Castelnaud, France

    Post by dutchbow Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:13 pm

    Hello All,

    Let me be the first to use this group.
    Last year I was on holiday in France and visit Castelnaud.
    They have a nice crossbow collection and I tryed to take some photographs but it
    was to crowdie. There was also a large tower crossbow in the middle of the small
    room that took a lot of space. It was impossible to make photographs.
     
    This year we visited Castlenaud again.
    There were not a lot of people and to my surprise the large tower crossbow
    was outside.
    I was able to make some pictures of the crossbow there that I want to share with you all.
    The pictures are not all of a great quality. Most of them where taken through
    glass and with poor lighting.
     

    I hope you enjoy the pictures.


    This is the link to the pictures:


    https://s1179.photobucket.com/user/dutchbow/library/Crossbows%20Castelnaud
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    Post by kenh Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:22 pm

    Nice pictures, Dutchbow!  Welcome to the Arbalist Guild.
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    Post by HeroSK Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:07 am

    Woah! Amazing photos! I always wondered about that great siege crossbow. Thank you so much, a treasure for sure! Smile
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    Post by HeroSK Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:57 am

    Could anyone please identify this crossbow from the album?

    Crossbows at Castelnaud, France Tg-14010
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    Post by mac Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:55 pm

    Hero,

    I would say that that's a Belgian target bow from sometime in the18th or perhaps the early 19th C.  The style is pretty static for a long time, so it's hard to date it closely. 

    Bows like this are sometimes misidentified as medieval, but that projection below the stock did not develop until sometime in the late(?) 17th C. 

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    Post by mac Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:24 pm

    HeroSK wrote:Woah! Amazing photos! I always wondered about that great siege crossbow. Thank you so much, a treasure for sure! Smile
    Indeed!

    I wonder how much of it  is original, and when the oldest parts are from.  It's a sort of hodge-podge of parts that might work, together with parts that probably won't. 

    I would like to believe in the frame and the sliding block.  They seem well enough designed and built. 

     It looks like the winding spindle should be attached to the sliding block with a broad strap, rather than the chain that is there.  That's all to the good, but there should be some sort of ratchet, or at least a locking mechanism, for the winder.  

    The bow its self could be taller, and it would fit the frame better.  The bow is also too thin in the nocks to be safe.  I suspect that this bow is a post-working-life replacement. There is a sleeve of what looks like lead sheet around the middle of the bow.  This strikes me as perhaps being the right thing in the wrong place.  Sheet lead might have made a good packing/padding material to help the original bow fit securely and safely in the frame.  

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    Post by Andy. Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:45 pm

    Love the little pistol bullet bow too.

    Would be keen to read on the development of the pistol crossbow through the ages if someone could point me in the right direction. Very little pics and info on the net.
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    Post by phuphuphnik Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:32 pm

     

    Bows like this are sometimes misidentified as medieval, but that projection below the stock did not develop until sometime in the late(?) 17th C. 

    Mac

    I was wondering when that projection as you call it came to be. Is is unique to target bows I wonder?
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    Post by HeroSK Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:14 am

    Thank you so much, Master Mac, I guessed so. Smile
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    Post by mac Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:54 am

    phuphuphnik wrote:
     

    Bows like this are sometimes misidentified as medieval, but that projection below the stock did not develop until sometime in the late(?) 17th C. 

    Mac

    I was wondering when that projection as you call it came to be. Is is unique to target bows I wonder?
    It looks like windlass spanned crossbows begin to develop a sort of "squareness" to the area below the nut in the 16th century, or perhaps even a bit earlier.  This probably added strength to a tiller who's width must be more or less constant to allow the pulleys to pass the nut unobstructed.

    This squareness begins to take on a sort of life of its own, getting deeper, pointier, and more trapezoidal.  Harmuth (Die Armbrust, 1986) shows a tiller of this sort on his page 90, and labels it "18 Jh."  (18th C.... ie 1700s).  On the other hand, on page 65 he shows a drawing made from a painting (?) of about 1646-50 which shows the Charles II or England visiting a shooting company in Bruges.  The  bows here are clearly beginning to show that characteristic trapezoidal projection.

    I don't know for certain that this trapezoidal projection is found only on target bows, but I think that to be most likely.  As far as I can tell, its only purpose (other than style) would be to add a mass below the tiller's axis.  This would make the weapon more stable, and easier to keep level.  That's more useful in a target shooting environment then on campaign.

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    Post by Geezer Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:13 pm

    Mac: I've seen photos of a crossbow at... Schloss Granson (Switzerland) Perhaps it was in one of Egon Harmuth's books.  Anyhow the bow in the photo is a classic square-console "Flemish Arbalest" much like the pattern-bow in Payne Gallwey's
    The Crossbow.  The bow in question is reputed to be captured war-booty from Burgundian Wars, which would date it @ 1470.  That's about as early as I can positively date that particular angular 'Flemish' pattern.  As you noted, later ones get increasingly enthusiastic about the large, square 'console' beneath the lock, until they morph into extended round knobs, very much like 19th century Anschutz rifles.  Thanks for pointing this out.  Geezer
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    Post by JMC Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:02 pm

    Crossbows at Castelnaud, France <a href=Crossbows at Castelnaud, France P1050614" />


    Last edited by JMC on Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post by JMC Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:04 pm

    https://i.servimg.com/u/f38/16/25/70/66/p1050613.jpg
    Image hébergée par servimg.com
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    Post by JMC Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:15 pm

    Crossbows at Castelnaud, France <a href=Crossbows at Castelnaud, France P1050615" />
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    Post by septua Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:47 pm

    I should think this would make an excellent handhold for shooting at targets mounted on those tall poles.  Didn’t they call those birdlike target  figures popinjays?

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