Carving and inlays on medieval crossbows: Over the years, i've amassed a lot of photos of medieval crossbows held in various collections. Today you could probably find 90 percent of them with an online search in an hour or two. What I have learned is this: We don't actually have many medieval bows that pre-date @ 1450 (Ulrich V is @ 1460, as is the large siege bow in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna) Pre-1500 bows, if carved tend toward flashes, wavy flambeaux, and geometric patterns... usually fairly simple ones. Grotesque faces aren't uncomon. The Fels Colonna bow at the Wallace collection in London is covered in bone plaques featuring classical figures, hunt scenes, etc. 16th century bows either have religious themes or hunt scenes... hounds, stags, bears, etc. From 17th century on, the decoration usually moves toward floral borders, wreathes and sometimes pictures of distant cities/ castles. Hunt scenes remain very common. Animals depected are pretty cartoonish on cheaper bows, but better quality pieces often use bas/relief carving. Coats of arms are pretty common, as well as cartouches with the owner's initials... ususally very ornately depicted. Mostly you're going to have to search online for photos of what you'd like. Then if it's practical, it really helps to go look at the sort of decoration you like. Pictures are great, but there's Nothing like getting hands-on, or as close as you can. Even if the piece is behind glass, being there gives you a much better sense of scale. Hope that helps. Geezer.