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Acquired 1974. From the collection of Dr. R. Williams.

Physical Description

Light steel bow secured to top of tiller by vertical bow irons tightened by a bolt below. Between bow and action wooden tiller downcurved. To rear of release, tiller terminates in a shoulder stock with iron butt plate. Top of shoulder stock has a wooden swelling possibly for a thumb grip. Tiller plain but for crudely carved scroll at fore-end and beneath down curved section.
Action consists of a pivoted hooked bar which retains drawn string and engages with a notch on the upper end of the trigger at rear. Gunlike trigger in iron trigger guard with double forward extension plates. Double pillar foresight. Inverted 'V' shaped backsight.
The condition of this crossbow is poor, the tiller with many woodworm holes. On arrival the fore-end (now repaired) was broken off and only retained by an iron plate beneath.


Dimensions: Overall length: 902 mm (35.5 in), span: 749 mm (29.5 in) Weight: 4 lb 8 oz


Places Italy


This may be the stone bow described in Williams' catalogue as late 16th Century and bought as part of lot.86 at the Pembridge Castle Sale 7/11/1956.
The date given to this crossbow is purely arbitrary, based on general style and the resemblance of the trigger guard to flintlock guns of the date. A very similar bow with a shoulder stock is illustrated in Armi Antiche Vol. 1. 1954, p.100. No provenance or date is given.