Crossbow of Elector Augustus I of Saxony

Crossbow of Elector Augustus I of Saxony

c. 1553-1573

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

Overall: 58.5 cm (23 1/16 in.); 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.a


This crossbow, along with its winder (or cranequin), is a masterpiece of Renaissance decorative arts. The crossbow's stock is inlaid with engraved stag horn and ebony depictions of trophies, arms, and musical instruments. The cranequin is also enriched with engraved designs: flowers, leaves, masks, and trophies. Even the cranking handle is minutely decorated. The coat of arms of Augustus I, Prince Elector of Saxony, is on the winder.

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