I think I have seen the picture you are referring to. Or, at least,
something close to it. The bows look downright lumpy.
In self bows (a bow backed by itself as opposed to sinew or
fibreglass), it is desirable to follow a single growth ring on the
back of the bow. Violations of the back ring can cause the bow to
fail and crack.
As mentioned by others, knots on the back need to be worked
around and are usually left raised. This could explain the lumpy
or knobby appearance.
In addition, the tree may have grown in a less than straight
fashion. In general, these trees are avoided by most bowyers but
there are a certain breed of bowyers who see staves from these
trees as a challenge. Any body can make a bow from a perfect
stave but it takes special bowyer who can make a shootable bow
from a snaky stave. The back ring still must be followed
regardless of what mother nature did to the tree. I am wondering
if the bow is an artist impression of one of these snaky bows.
--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
, "Kinjal of Moravia"
> On a different 'bend' [;-)], I have come accross some medieval
> paintings of archers showing knobs on their bows (outside
> The notes indicate the archers are proud of this 'rough'
> construction. Does anyone know why these were left on and
> purpose they served?