Foix – France, late 14th C hunting arrow

Le Livre de la Chasse was written around 1388 by Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix. This translation is from George Agar Hansard’s The Book of Archery.

“The sportsman’s bow should be of yew, and measure twenty palms [five feet] from one notch to the other, and, when braced, have a hand’s breadth between string and wood. The string must ever be of silk. The bow should be weak, because an archer over-bowed cannot take aim freely and with address; besides, such a bow may be held half-drawn a long time without fatigue, whilst the hunter stands in wait for the deer.

“The wood of a well-formed arrow measures eight handsful in length from the end of the nock to the barbs of the head, which will be exactly four fingers broad, from the point of one barb to the point of the other. It must be duly proportioned in every part, well filed and sharpened, and five fingers in length.

The reproduction

The head on this one’s only three fingers broad and four fingers long. The duly proportioned fletching is 7½″ long and the cut and awful colours are taken from a 14th C illumination. Cock feather is solid green, shaft is bobtailed, 916″ at the head and a generous ⅜″ at the nock.