Object Title

Crossbow

Crossbow

Date

1771-1799

Object Number

XI.21

Physical Description

Of unusual construction. The steel bow, stamped with the maker's mark I D passes through the stock and is secured by brass cheeks or bow-irons. Below the fore-end is a hinged lower carved as a crocodile. When the lever is depressed it draws back a small copper-gilt lion whose paws engage the cord and act both as bending mechanism and lock action. The lion and its steel draw-bar are held at the rear by a spring catch with a release under the tiller. This allows the cord to return to the forward position on uncocking without releasing it from the lion which moves forward with the cord. To shoot, the curved brass trigger is pressed to raise the lion and so release the cord.
The wooden tiller is deep-bellied below the bow where the lever is hinged and moves in a slot. The bolt groove is brass, bordered with mother-of-pearl: the brass butt-terminal is drum-shaped with an acorn finial. The bow retains its cord.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 1194 mm (47 in), span of bow: 762 mm (30 in) Weight: 15 lb 14 oz

Associations

Bibliographic References

W.F. Paterson, 'The Lion hook and Crocodile Spanner', Journal Society Archer Antiquaries, XVIII (1975), pp 38-9.

Notes

In the Tower Remain of 1857 (I 21) this bow appears as 'Cross Bow, beautifully carved with an Alligator and c, and inlaid with ivory mother o' pearl and c'. It was on diaplay in the New Room, 'over and by arches'.