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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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Legend SL Crossbow
May 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Legend SL Crossbow
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$603 Bids
BEAR KODIAK HUNTER RECURVE BOW 9T2726 AMO-60" 48#
Apr 23, 6:00 PM CDT
BEAR KODIAK HUNTER RECURVE BOW 9T2726 AMO-60" 48#
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
ARROW AND BOW GROUP
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
ARROW AND BOW GROUP
by Jackson's International
Est: $50- $100
$402 Bids
BOWS
Apr 15, 10:00 AM PDT
BOWS
by O'Gallerie
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
BEAR LITTLE BEAR RECURVE BOW KS11682 AMO-48" 20#
Apr 23, 6:00 PM CDT
BEAR LITTLE BEAR RECURVE BOW KS11682 AMO-48" 20#
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
BEAR ALASKAN RECURVE BOW RA2A35 62' 38#
Apr 23, 6:00 PM CDT
BEAR ALASKAN RECURVE BOW RA2A35 62' 38#
by Millers Auction Co.
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
A Mid-17th Century European Crossbow
May 01, 10:00 AM EDT
A Mid-17th Century European Crossbow
by Hindman
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$7500 Bids
LONG BOW, FIRST NATIONS AMERICAS
Apr 19, 10:00 AM PDT
LONG BOW, FIRST NATIONS AMERICAS
by Scollard Auctions
Est: $250- $500
$1000 Bids
A Swiss ordnance crossbow, circa 1950
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A Swiss ordnance crossbow, circa 1950
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€4000 Bids
SPORTS BOW AND ACCESSORIES
Apr 17, 7:00 PM CEST
SPORTS BOW AND ACCESSORIES
by Derksen Veilingbedrijf
Est: €100- €150
€1000 Bids
A South German crossbow, 17th/19th century
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A South German crossbow, 17th/19th century
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1,6000 Bids
A luxury Saxon crossbow, 2nd half of the 20th century
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A luxury Saxon crossbow, 2nd half of the 20th century
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€6400 Bids
Crossbow
Apr 19, 10:00 AM CEST
Crossbow
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €600- €1,800
€6000 Bids
A South German elaborately bone-inlaid Renaissance crossbow, circa 1580
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A South German elaborately bone-inlaid Renaissance crossbow, circa 1580
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€9,5000 Bids
A Dutch target crossbow, 2nd half of the 16th century
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A Dutch target crossbow, 2nd half of the 16th century
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1,0000 Bids
A German crossbow winch (cranequin), circa 1600
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A German crossbow winch (cranequin), circa 1600
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€2,5000 Bids
A German Renaissance crossbow with lavish bone inlays, dated 1604
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A German Renaissance crossbow with lavish bone inlays, dated 1604
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€9,5000 Bids
A bullet crossbow, possibly Nuremberg, circa 1650
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A bullet crossbow, possibly Nuremberg, circa 1650
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€2,2000 Bids
A German crossbow, 2nd half of the 17th century
May 16, 1:00 PM CEST
A German crossbow, 2nd half of the 17th century
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1,4000 Bids
VINTAGE JENNINGS LEFT HAND COMPOUND BOW
Apr 23, 9:00 AM CDT
VINTAGE JENNINGS LEFT HAND COMPOUND BOW
by Jackson's International
Est: $20- $30
$100 Bids
THOMAS BIRD AN ENGLISH BULLET CROSSBOW, CIRCA 1798 the slender steel bow of
May 01, 10:00 AM BST
THOMAS BIRD AN ENGLISH BULLET CROSSBOW, CIRCA 1798 the slender steel bow of
by Gavin Gardiner Limited
Est: £500- £700
£5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Crossbows


Hermann Historica GmbH

Hermann Historica GmbH

Millers Auction Co.

Millers Auction Co.

Jackson's International

Jackson's International

O'Gallerie

O'Gallerie