Archery, 1645 style

Peasants at Archery, David Teniers the Younger, 1645. Click to zoom in and have a look around.

There’s enough detail to see that the bows are made from a single stick using the heartwood and sapwood to best effect. The two figures shooting appear to have early recurves with handle binding, the limbs may be spliced within the handle. These are civil/sporting bows of about 50-60# draw weight. The bearded chap in the red hat holds a self- longbow, it’s probably an older hunting weapon of similar draw weight.

Arrows are parallel sides straight shafts and have MoL type 5 target heads, goose or swan feathers with the back edge of the feather cut at an angle to the shaft and the point rounded to reduce drag, similar to those in the Beauchamp Pageant or on Prince Arthur’s tomb.

The butts are a white cloth or paper target on a cobb wall.

My compatriot over at Paleotool’s Weblog thinks they’ll be off to the pub shortly.


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