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Mark T




PostPosted: Sun 20 Jul, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Did quivers with lids exist?         Reply with quote

Hi all,

In one of Gerry Embleton's books, he suggests that medieval crossbow quivers existed that had lids, presumably to keep out rain.

I'm slowly collecting historical images of crossbow quivers - and will probably start a thread here soon to collate them (so no need to post lots of images tagged 'this one doesn't have a lid' here Big Grin) - but am yet to see one with a lid.

Does anyone know of any extant examples, or any period artwork that clearly shows a quiver with a lid?

On the one hand, I can imagine the practical aspect of rain protection; on the other, I can also imagine how a folded-back lid could actually either get in the way of acquiring a bolt in the heat of battle, as well as being uncomfortable and bulky against the body. Initial testing also suggests that even a short riding cloak, such as that shown in the Mittelalterliches Hausbuch might be long enough to cover a hip-mounted quiver opening, so perhaps a lid would be superfluous.

I'd like to commission a quiver soon, but am reluctant to go with a design that either doesn't make sense or we don't have any proof for.

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

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Audun Løkse




Location: Oslo, Norway
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2014 2:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, there was actually one example in the resource you just posted yourself, in the crossbow book thread.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=21344
You linked to this:
http://www.themcs.org/weaponry/crossbows/crossbows.htm
The 15th c. quiver from Vienna Armoury.



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Vienna Armoury.jpg

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Mark T




PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2014 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Audun,

Thanks for spotting that! I posted the link to that page before I'd read through it all.

Well perhaps that answers the question 'Did they exist at all?'. Do we have any more examples or images to get a sense of what designs there might have been, or how common they were?

Again, all the historical images I've seen so far don't have lids ... this one is an interesting beginning!

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

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Mark T




PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2014 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also just found this one at the Bavarian Army Museum Ingolstadt on vikingsword (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7516).

The poster, Michael from Bavaria ('Matchlock') describes another quiver later in the thread as:

Quote:
The wooden core is covered with pig skin, the mouth of the quiver is leather covered, the original leather lid is now missing on almost all surviving samples. [emphasis added]


It would be interesting to know why he seems to think that most seem to have had lids ... I wonder if there's something in the German sources or museums that we haven't seen yet?



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Tyler Jordan





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jul, 2014 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From a practicality standpoint, I'd expect an entirely separate lid that can be secured with a simple string or tie, or a lid that folds forward, so it's well out of the way of the opening when not in use. As stated earlier the hip style wouldn't really need any sort of lid, being covered plenty well by other worn raingear.
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Mark T




PostPosted: Thu 24 Jul, 2014 11:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's another one found during some online 'hoovering' of medieval crossbow images. Sorry I didn't keep the source URL, but description was:

Quote:
Quiver for Crossbow Bolts, c. 1500, possibly 16th century, Art Institute Chicago George F. Harding Collection, 1982.3089


I've also noticed that many remaining 'lidless' quivers have a prominent lip around the opening, and this is also to be seen on some period artwork. This makes me wonder if it could have not only served an aesthetic role, but also as a 'locator' or 'friction lock' for a lid - just as our testing on 'rainguards'/chappes has shown that they 'lock on' nicely to a scabbard risers around the very opening of the throat. To possibly support this theory, all of the three quiver examples here seem to have the front of their lids fairly tightly moulded to this lip. Just an idea ...

I've also come across some references to people talking in living history contexts about the problems of bolts jumping up in quivers as they run across the field ... given that we know some mounted crossbowmen dismounted to join the battle, this seems like it might have also been a challenge in period, unless the quiver design somehow held the bolts in. I haven't come across any period discussions of this yet ... perhaps the back-issues of the Journal of Archer-Antiquaries might have some leads ... I know there's an in-depth study of a quiver in one of those issues.



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Quiver for Crossbow Bolts, c. 1500, possibly 16th century Art Institute Chicago George F. Harding Collection, 1982.3089.jpg


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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2014 5:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just for comparison, closed quivers were also used for arrows in the East several centuries earlier.

http://www.atarn.org/islamic/bede/CLOSED%20QUIVER2001.htm
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Mark T




PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2014 3:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's another image. This one is labelled Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, but the quiver looks to be the same as the one above, labelled as being in the Bavarian Army Museum Ingolstadt. Does anyone have any light to shed on this?

Turns out there was also a thread about this issue over at the AAF a couple of years back, including speculation on how the lids were attached ... if I can get the time, I'll see if I can get permission to attach some of those images here.

The crux of the conversation there was that the most likely method by which lids would have been attached means that it would have been easy for them to be separated from the quiver over time. Many remaining quivers have the same kind of strapping which would have allowed the quivers to have lids using this attachment method, so we can speculate that at least some of them might have originally had lids.

What's then unclear to me is why we don't see any historical images of quivers with lids on. As far as I can tell at this point, we have more images than extant quivers, and we have material proof that at least some had lids, but I'm yet to find a single historical image showing a lid. I can understand some artistic aspects to this - that quivers with arrows/bolts showing would have made them easier to identify in the image, that they'd be more interesting to draw or paint, that they'd add more interest for viewers, or even that some might actually be intended to show quivers with their lids tucked back behind the belt; even in Gerry's book, the lid on the reproduction quiver is a little hard to see at first.

However, given that we have so many accurate and detailed examples of other aspects of arms and armour - and some incredibly detailed depictions of both crossbows and quivers without lids, it strikes me as strange that we have no images with lids ... if anyone's aware of some, please share them here!



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Quivers in Bayerisches Nationalmuseum.jpg


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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2014 9:51 pm    Post subject: Did quivers with lids exist?         Reply with quote


That crossbow is quite huge! I have never seen a crossbow that size.

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