A FINE AND RARE GERMAN BARRELLED SPORTING CROSSBOW (SLURBOW) WITH REPEATING BULLET MAGAZINE

  • A FINE AND RARE GERMAN BARRELLED SPORTING CROSSBOW (SLURBOW) WITH REPEATING BULLET MAGAZINE Image
  • A FINE AND RARE GERMAN BARRELLED SPORTING CROSSBOW (SLURBOW) WITH REPEATING BULLET MAGAZINE Image

Lot 226

A FINE AND RARE GERMAN BARRELLED SPORTING CROSSBOW (SLURBOW) WITH REPEATING BULLET MAGAZINE, CIRCA 1660-70 with robust steel bow struck with a mark, a horn (Neue Støckel 5217 for similar), bound with cords over a wooden saddle with suspension ring and retaining six of its original decorative woollen pom-poms, fruitwood tiller, the greater part of conventional form, swelling about the release mechanism and shaped for the cheek, the forward section faceted, extending in the manner of a pistol fore-end and seating an iron two-stage barrel , the forward half with polygroove rifled bore, retained by a pair of screws entering from beneath, a raised faceted band behind the bow and a short tang, the octagonal rear half of the barrel open at both sides, extending over the nut and the tang fitted with pivoted back-sight, the tiller with tubular bullet-magazine running forwards from a horn bullet-feed immediately ahead of the nut, the feed-block rising on a spring through an aperture in the underside of the tiller and released by a sliding catch, the magazine filled from a port beneath the bow closed by a horn sliding cover, with iron bullet-channel laid over the chase, iron lugs for a spanning-lever, folding trigger, two-stage trigger-guard and pivot safety-catch, the tiller veneered in white horn finely engraved with German baroque ornament over its upper and lower surfaces, decorated with acanthus borders, an acanthus rollwerk cartouche enclosing the lower aperture of the bullet-feed, a similar cartouche about the aperture for a rod inserted to set the action and a more elaborate engraved cartouche framing the base of the trigger-guard, inlaid over the sides with engraved beaded horn lines along its full length behind the bow, and the remaining forward section decorated with further white horn inlays including a pair of engraved plaques impaled by the barrel screws, and the border panels and the terminal cap all engraved with acanthus ornament (the bow-string and the pivot cords for the nut missing) 92 cm; 36¼ in 61 cm; 24 in bow Barrelled crossbows were intended to discharge a bullet seated in the cupped head of a small iron rod known in France as a chasse de fer. A repeating magazine system, as in this rare instance, would still necessitate each bullet to be seated on a rod. The present bow has provision for probably up to eight bullets to be held in its magazine; another German example, probably unique, is said to have held 24: see Blackmore 1971, pp. 202, 207. For an account of the development and use of barrelled crossbows see Paterson 1990, pp.88-91.