Feb 11, 2020

Crossbow and Cranequin of Elector Augustus I of Saxony

Crossbow and Cranequin of Elector Augustus I of Saxony

c. 1553–73

Part of a set. See all set records

Wood (walnut?), bone veneers, flax cord, steel (etched, traces of gilding). woolen pompoms, stock decorated wih inlaid trophies of arms

Bow: 58.5 cm (23 1/16 in.); Butt: 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1723

Did you know?

Augustus was a marksman who took part in crossbow competitions. He had a large collection and often gave them to friends.


This crossbow was a hunting weapon for Prince Elector Augustus I, a member of the ruling elite in the Holy Roman Empire. Augustus, powerful and wealthy, had even the most practical instruments ornately decorated, including this crossbow and its cranequin, or winding device.

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