Antique Chinese Repeating Crossbow Cho-Ku-no

Chinese Repeating Crossbow


A fascinating weapon from China, a 'repeating' crossbow. The Chu-ko-nu or Zhuge nu has a history going back thousands of years, and was a fully functioning weapon used for mass assault on troops or for sieges. It is said that 100 men so armed with a double crossbow such as this example could loose two thousand arrows in fifteen seconds. The bolts were of sturdy cane or bamboo, iron-tipped and sometimes poisoned. The mechanism is simple and by way of the iron lever the body is raised up to grab the thick sinew bowstring and draw it back, releasing it in the same movement. The bolts would be dropped into two seperate compartments, one for each channel, the chamber covered with a sliding lid. This example is in wonderful condition, retaining its original string, the bow is of two thick sections of bamboo bound together, the body of a mahogany type wood. A very rare weapon. The lowest image shows an excavated repeating crossbow of the Spring and Autumn period (722 BC and 481 BC) illustrating the longevity of this weapon in Far-Eastern warfare. This example dates to the 19th century. A near identical double repeating crossbow can be seen in W.O Oldman Catalogue No 30.19th century China/Far East

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