Pellet crossbow | Mandarin Mansion

Pellet crossbow

Length of stock: 71 cm / 28 inch
Bow width: 57 cm / 22.5 inch
Weight in hand: 869 grams

A Chinese pellet crossbow of the 19th century. These bows were mostly used for bird hunting and sports, shooting small clay pellets. The stock is skillfully carved from what looks to be elm wood, beautifully patinated with age. The bow is a composite bow made of bamboo belly and core, with a sinew backing. The string appears to made of twisted rawhide. It has a nice trigger mechanism made of antler with bronze pivots. At the front is a rectangular sighting mechanism that used to have a string with a small bead. The hind sight is lost and the original pocket has been later remade. Some other more recent repairs include some wrappings on the string and a foot loop used to string the bow. It is still in good enough condition to shoot.

A photograph of a Beijingnese bowmaker in the 1930's by Hedda Morrison, now in the Powerhouse Museum. At this time, most of these crafts were dying arts and Chengdu and Beijing were among the few centers where traditional equipment were still made.

A very charming and rare Chinese pellet crossbow.


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