Spoils of Time Asian Ceramics and Works of Art

Montagnard Hardwood and Ox Bone Crossbow, Bamboo Arrow

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Pre 1920: Item # 1127110
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Frederick, MD 21701

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A well crafted Montagnard hardwood crossbow with subtle attention to detailing and with oxbone release mechanism. The wood (a resource of interest to Chinese occupiers since the Ming dynasty) appears to be a good quality tropical hardwood (broadly referred to as rosewood - we cannot be certain of the variety.) As is typical with Montagnard (as the Hmong [or "Hill Tribes"] vicinity mountainous regions of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were called by the French occupiers), the form resembles a gunstock but in reverse - what we in the West would normally shoulder is at the ejection end (more resembling a Fijian war club) with flight groove. The Montagnard were sympathetic to, and generally regarded as allies of, American forces. The shape flattens and is thoughtfully shaped (again resembling Oceanic handiwork) below the oxbone release - terminating in a much smaller, beaded shoulder butt. The "limb" tangent to the broad, ejection end and tapering to the shaped string knocks at either end. Relatively good condition but with some small wood losses - one at either end of the stock (not impeding function or decorative utility.) Stock length 20 inches. Limb span from nock to nock 40 1/2 inches. Accompanied by a single bamboo arrow with fletchings of dried tropical vegetation. This might be a little tricky to ship as we will not be able to break it down.