Crossbows

Historically considered one of the deadliest weapons in existence, the crossbow has evolved from a tool of human warfare to an option for hunting and shooting sports. With its ease of use and high draw force, the crossbow is noted as a highly-accurate weapon even for a novice marksman.

It’s thought that the first crossbows were used in China as early as the 5th century B.C. for both defense and hunting. In the following years, the Greeks, Romans, and Medieval Europeans added crossbows to their military arsenals. During the 11th century, the Roman Catholic Church banned the use of the weapon in Christian-to-Christian warfare, warning that offenders would risk excommunication for violating the rule. By the 16th century, crossbows were nearly eliminated in human warfare, replaced on the battlefields by black powder weapons. More recently, crossbows have gained popularity in game hunting and sport shooting.

Antique crossbows were often made of wood and steel, and sometimes included intricate carvings and parts made of ivory, stag horn, or ebony. Locating one with all original elements intact is a valuable collector’s find. Modern crossbows are often made of fiberglass or carbon fiber, but some are still made of wood or metal. Determining factors in purchasing one are typically the intended use and cost along with weight and design.


Quick Facts

  • Crossbows were referenced in Gaston Phoebus’ 1387 "Book of the Hunt"
  • Some world military organizations still use crossbows today, from ambush missions to anti- sniper operations and bomb detection. The silence of the weapon is a reported advantage
  • Crossbowmen were an esteemed group in medieval times. They often received higher pay than foot soldiers

Recommended Items at Auction

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Hoyt archer's bow
Oct 19, 7:00 PM AEDT
Hoyt archer's bow
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD604 Bids
A Lenci pot and cover,
Oct 19, 10:00 AM BST
A Lenci pot and cover,
by Sworders
Est: £400- £600
£3802 Bids
Collection of three archer's bows incl
Oct 19, 7:00 PM AEDT
Collection of three archer's bows incl
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD252 Bids
Italian Heavy Siege Or Windlass Crossbow Circa 1650
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Italian Heavy Siege Or Windlass Crossbow Circa 1650
by Cowan's Auctions
Est: $2,500- $5,000
$1,2001 Bid
NEAR LIFE-SIZE CAST STONE STATUARY DIANA & ACTAEON
Oct 24, 10:00 AM CDT
NEAR LIFE-SIZE CAST STONE STATUARY DIANA & ACTAEON
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$8001 Bid
Bear “Whitetail II” Compound Bow
Oct 23, 9:30 AM EDT
Bear “Whitetail II” Compound Bow
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$200 Bids
Japan Okimono finely carved with a bow that arms its bow 19th Sizes: H=70mm L=100mm Weight
Oct 31, 10:00 AM CET
Japan Okimono finely carved with a bow that arms its bow 19th Sizes: H=70mm L=100mm Weight
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €400- €800
€4000 Bids
NICOLA SOMMA (ATTRIBUITO) YOUNG COMMONER, ATTRIBUTED TO NICOLA SOMMA, 18TH CENTURY
Oct 18, 3:30 PM CEST
NICOLA SOMMA (ATTRIBUITO) YOUNG COMMONER, ATTRIBUTED TO NICOLA SOMMA, 18TH CENTURY
by Casa d'aste ARCADIA
Est: €1,500- €2,000
€1,5000 Bids
Valentino, ladies leather glov
Nov 06, 10:00 AM CET
Valentino, ladies leather glov
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
Renaissance-Armbrust.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM CEST
Renaissance-Armbrust.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€1,9000 Bids
Renaissance-Armbrustsäule.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM CEST
Renaissance-Armbrustsäule.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€1500 Bids
Armbrustsäule.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM CEST
Armbrustsäule.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€1200 Bids
(2) HARDING BIG BOW (D.1997) KIOWA PAINTINGS
Oct 22, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) HARDING BIG BOW (D.1997) KIOWA PAINTINGS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
CROSSBOW TECHNOLOGYS TITAN HLX TEN POINT CROSSBOW.
Nov 05, 10:00 AM EDT
CROSSBOW TECHNOLOGYS TITAN HLX TEN POINT CROSSBOW.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Dolce & Gabbana, Italy: Bronzetone Leather Point-Toe Stilettos, Bow Detail to Toe
Oct 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Dolce & Gabbana, Italy: Bronzetone Leather Point-Toe Stilettos, Bow Detail to Toe
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD200- AUD400
AUD1000 Bids
Moschino, Cheap and Chic, Italy: Gold Sequin Bow Flats
Oct 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Moschino, Cheap and Chic, Italy: Gold Sequin Bow Flats
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD750 Bids
[FARGO FAMILY]. THOMAS, CLARA FARGO (AMERICAN, 1890-1970) A...
Nov 20, 10:00 AM CST
[FARGO FAMILY]. THOMAS, CLARA FARGO (AMERICAN, 1890-1970) A...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $80- $150
$400 Bids
Vintage solid timber bow fronted display case with leadlight glazing and Queen Anne legs
Oct 24, 11:00 AM AEST
Vintage solid timber bow fronted display case with leadlight glazing and Queen Anne legs
by Pfeffer's Auctions
Est: AUD400- AUD800
AUD2000 Bids
Bows (2)
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CDT
Bows (2)
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$10 Bids
-NO RESERVE- ANTIQUE TURQUOISE KNOTTED BOW DROP RING
Oct 22, 2:00 PM BST
-NO RESERVE- ANTIQUE TURQUOISE KNOTTED BOW DROP RING
by Auction Zero
Est: £100- £200
£100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Crossbows


Auktionshaus Wendl

Auktionshaus Wendl

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce

Bargain Hunt Auctions

Bargain Hunt Auctions