A very fine and rare gothic crossbow, Southern Germany. The composite bow is covered with parchment decorated in monochrome to simulate fish skin or snakeskin. Part of the panel represents” Eve holding the fruit of the tree of knowledge”. Dated cross bows before the 16th century are extremely rare, ca 1475.
A longbow is a type of bow that is tall (roughly equal to the height of the person who uses it). This allows its user a fairly long draw, at least to the jaw. Tthe average length of arrowshafts recovered from the 1545 sinking of the Mary Rose is 75 cm or 30 in). A longbow is not significantly recurved. Its limbs are relatively narrow so that they are circular or D-shaped in cross section.