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ON7267

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Original German 1740 Crossbow with Winding Windlass from Sigmaringen Castle

Regular price $9,995.00

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This early 18th century crossbow is truly unusual and offered in superior quality and condition. Dating to approximately 1740 (the early half of the 18th century) the bow itself is thick spring steel mounted onto a wood tiller decorated with stag bone inlay and fretted iron plates to both sides.

The large bow measures 54 inches x 28 inches and comes complete with a correct period bowstring beautifully bound and in place. The tiller has some silver plaque inlays along its upper surface, the largest of which is  1 1/2" z 1 1/4" oval which is engraved with a CROWN over a quartered shield, a devise used by the family of that era. Additionally there is an old strung handwritten paper tag still attached which reads "VON SCHLOSS SIGMARINGEN" with a red wax seal bearing crossed keys.

The bow comes complete with its original complicated winding machine known as a WINDLASS which is a hand cranking device used to pull back the substantial bowstring utilizing eight hemp cords reducing the difficult by use of a pulley system attached to large steel claws. The Windlass is magnificently constructed out of hand wrought and decorated iron including two large winding handles. The windlass attaches to the bow's tiller via a built in socket that covers the rear end, the claws are connected to the bowstring, one's foot is placed in the iron stirrup extending from the from of the bow and one starts winding until the bowstring connects to the horn rotating sear and is secured for shooting. Due to the age of the bow string this should not be attempted.

Included with this bow is a book published by THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART in New York titled A DEADLY ART, EUROPEAN CROWS BOWS, 1250 - 1850 by DIRK  H.  BREIDING. It is a complete work on the subject using examples only found in the MET'S own Collection. On page 62 there is a similar Crossbow (item 17) with Windlass and although amazing we feel our example is just as good if not a bit better.

Antique Crossbows are generally hard to find and this presents an opportunity to acquire a magnificent example from the family seat of the HOHENZOLLEN Family, of Hohenzollernschloss SIGMARINGEN, a castle which was first recorded in 1077 and interestingly became the Seat of the VICHY FRENCH GOVERNMENT in the second half of 1944 and 1945, sitting on the Danube River in the JURA MOUNTAINS.

A fine rare high quality early 18th century crossbow from one of the most magnificent castles in Germany. It doesn't get much better than this!

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