Crossbow by Johann Gottfried Hänisch the Elder (German, Dresden 1696–1778)
Steel, wood, staghorn, copper alloy, hemp, wool, gold, iron alloy
L. of crossbow, 28 13/16 in. (73.2 cm); W. of crossbow, 24 15/16 in. (63.3 cm); Wt. of crossbow, 10 lb. 7 oz. (4,817 g); L. of cranequin (without crank), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm); L. of crank, 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm)
Purchase, Louis V. Bell Fund and Bequest of Stephen V. Grancsay, by exchange, 1985
This is one of a series of similar bows by Hänisch the Elder for the court of Friedrich August II, Elector of Saxony from 1733 to 1763 and King Augustus III of Poland from 1734 to 1736.
Ex. coll.: Earlshall Castle, Leuchars, Fife, Scotland; Peter Finer.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor: Johann Gottfried Haenisch, Hunting Crossbow and Winder." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1985–1986 (1986). p. 20, ill.
"A Fine and Important German Sporting Crossbow, Saxon, by Johann Gottfried Haenisch, circa 1740." In Peter Finer Catalogue. n.p.: De Montfort Press, 2005. no. 32, ill. in un-numbered figures and plates.
"The Hänisch Family and the Crossbowmaker’s Art in Dresden." Journal of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries 51 (2008). pp. 32, 34.
Breiding, Dirk H. A Deadly Art: European Crossbows, 1250–1850. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013. pp. 60–62, no. 16, ill. p. 60 and figs. 2.28–2.29 (crossbow only).