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Re: [SCA-Archery] Villard de Honnecourt's crossbow

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  • Carolus Eulenhorst
    I have a couple of problems with this illustration. First is the curve in the string. In a cocked crossbow the string is taut and forms a sharp angle at the
    Message 1 of 37 , May 5, 2003
      I have a couple of problems with this illustration. First is the curve
      in the string. In a cocked crossbow the string is taut and forms a sharp
      angle at the nut or release mechanism. This has more the appearance of a
      compound spring being stretched. The second is the position of the bolt.
      It is neither in the loaded position nore is it being fired as the
      string is still in the cocked position. Third, (ok, more than a couple)
      the string and stick seem to be connected to the bolt and seem to be
      lying at rest. Is it possible the illustrator wasn't really familiar
      with crossbows but was working from a description? As this is an
      architect's sketchbook, I wonder if this isn't supposed to represent a
      crossbow used to fire a leading line to be used for carrying a heavier
      hauling or supporting cable over a span. Do you have any idea what the
      text on the page says?

      In service to the dream
      Carolus von Eulenhorst
      eulenhorst@...

      On Sun, 04 May 2003 23:06:36 -0400 "L.J. Sparvero" <lyev@...>
      writes:
      > Hi all,
      > While doing research on a project unrelated to period
      > archery (Gothic
      > cathedrals!) I came across a drawing of a crossbow that's puzzled
      > me. The
      > artist is Villard de Honnecourt, who made an architect's sketchbook
      > in the
      > early 13th century. There's a jpg of it (folio 22 verso) at:
      > http://www.newcastle.edu.au/discipline/fine-art/pubs/villard/
      >
      > Go to the "search by page" link and click on 22v.
      >
      > The crossbow is in the upper right corner. I'm drawing a blank as to
      > the
      > purpose of the plumb-bob thing in front of the bolt, or the small
      > block on
      > a string that seems to be recoiling from the bow. I can guess that
      > the
      > small block could be a type of safety for a rolling nut (see Alm's
      > book),
      > but I'm not sure that this was a Gothic invention, as opposed to
      > several
      > centuries later. The plump-bob I have no idea either (unless it was
      >
      > overlapping the crossbow drawing, and unrelated in concept to it).
      > One book
      > mentions this drawing and calls it a "sighting device" (with no
      > further
      > explanation). I can't figure out how this could be a sighting device
      > at
      > all, at least in our use of the word. Being able to judge distances
      > in
      > space accurately and sighting straight lines would no doubt have
      > been
      > important to him.
      >
      > If anyone can shed some light on this, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in
      > advance,
      >
      > -Lyev

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    • Kinjal of Moravia
      ... Makes me ... bird or ... sides. ... .................................................... Perhaps, but a regular style half-circle doesn t work. I have
      Message 37 of 37 , Apr 6, 2004
        --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, John edgerton <sirjon1@p...>
        wrote:
        > The comment about being in constant motion, like giant birds.
        Makes me
        > think the cloak was attached to both wrists. That would give a
        bird or
        > bat wing appearance and would also provide protection from both
        sides.
        >
        > Jon
        ....................................................

        Perhaps, but a regular style half-circle doesn't work. I have been
        playing with some other styles (you probably guessed that)and have a
        prototype that seems to work - even found some material that sorta
        looks like feathers. I'll keep you posted off-line, or here if
        anyone else in interested. Actually it will be cool and servicable
        even if you are not an archer. And it will be semi-perod, being a
        modified Gallic Coat.

        kinjal
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