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Question for the archers among us

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:13 pm
by mouse
Am playing with one or two things this end, which, combined with a convo at Tagi, has got me plotting an experiment.

Can anyone tell me:

* Is there a rough "basic" dimensions/shape for quivers?
* If so, does this change depending on period?


Thanks gang!

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:21 pm
by Brother Ranulf
Not sure you have posted this in the right section (General History?), and of course it very much depends which bit of the world you are interested in.

In England quivers seem to have (very strangely) disappeared completely soon after 1066 and don't really make much of a re-appearance until the Victorian renaissance of archery for gentlewomen.

The "ideal" quiver would completely cover the arrows within, so would need some kind of flap to open before withdrawing the arrows - native American quivers (upon which Hollywood based its Robin Hood quivers) tend to be slightly shorter than the arrows, with a reinforced bottom end to prevent the heads cutting through.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:31 pm
by Dave B
Yup.

This section is for questions / help about the forum itself, this goes in general history.


PS. I agree with BR, although IIRC there is some evidence for use of something like quivers on ships, presumably because it's hard to stick the arrows in the ground when you are on a deck?

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:31 pm
by Jim
I'm sure I've seen c15th paintings of archers with their arrows shoved down their belts.

Somehow, I suspect quivers of some kind were used during the transportation of arrows but not actually on the field. Possibly these quivers were quite large (barrels / boxes?) as they may have been meant to hold communal stashes of arrows which got handed out to archers at the start of the battle? I'm not sure individual archers would have had their own quivers for personal arrow storage, but as ever I may be wrong.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:11 pm
by mouse
ooops! damnit - thought was posting in the "help" section - idiot that i am!

thanks for all the info guys!

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:48 pm
by Fillionous
The only referances I can recall of British 'quivers' / arrow storage are leather spacers inside a cloth bag. The spacers are basically a disc of leather with variously 6,8,12,24 holes in it, these stop the fletchings getting damaged and the cloth bag, which in some pictures may be re-enforced in the base to stop the arrow piles cutting through or be hald shape wise with prehaps? a wicker basket covers the whole lenght of arrow to keep them dry for transit, has an opening at each end that can be drawn back to reveal the nocks/piles for shooting / removal of the arrows.
There are examples of the spacers from the Mary Rose.

The majority of archers are shown with arrows just tucked in thier belts or stuck in the ground by thier feet.

Other referances refure to arrows being transported in barrels (100 years war) posibbly with the piles in separate barrels to the fletched shafts, being assembled on the march / prior to battles at need.

If I get time I'll see if I can find more / specific referances...

Be bright,bebold
Fillionous

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:27 am
by Bittersweet
It's possible that one of the archers you saw with a very posh leather quiver at Tintagel was our daughter. My husband made the quiver and the girl was using it for convenience during the archery competition rather than as 'authentic' kit.

But to open a can of worms :oops: I'd be surprised if skirmishing archers didn't have quivers of some sort other than the bag type. The bag and/or arrows shoved in the belt really are a pain if you're doing a roving shoot or skirmishing as opposed to 'battle formation' archery.

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:26 am
by Brother Ranulf
In describing Welsh kit, Gerald of Wales uses the expression "handfuls of arrows" - the Welsh were noted for their guerilla, skirmishing and ambush tactics and there is no evidence (pictorial, linguistic or archaeological) that they ever used quivers of any kind.

I recently pulled together all known 12th century depictions of archers (almost all huntsmen rather than military archers) in Anglo-Norman sources (in manuscripts, stone carvings, ivory, bone and antler carvings etc) and not one carries a quiver.

I would be interested to see any new evidence for quivers, but I suspect that they are simply "wishful thinking".

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:59 pm
by John Waller
Fillionous wrote: The spacers are basically a disc of leather with variously 6,8,12,24 holes in it
Do you have any evidence for spacers with 6,8 or 12 holes? The only ones I have seen have 24 (Mary Rose) or 25 (Museum of London).

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:18 pm
by Bittersweet
Brother Ranulf wrote:In describing Welsh kit, Gerald of Wales uses the expression "handfuls of arrows" - the Welsh were noted for their guerilla, skirmishing and ambush tactics and there is no evidence (pictorial, linguistic or archaeological) that they ever used quivers of any kind.

Are there pictoral references for Welsh skirmishers?

I recently pulled together all known 12th century depictions of archers (almost all huntsmen rather than military archers) in Anglo-Norman sources (in manuscripts, stone carvings, ivory, bone and antler carvings etc) and not one carries a quiver.

Have you by any chance done the same for 13th and early 14th too as they're more my time of interest?

I would be interested to see any new evidence for quivers, but I suspect that they are simply "wishful thinking".
Sadly, you're probably right :roll:

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:40 pm
by Brother Ranulf
There are a very few depictions of Welsh archers, but they are mostly later medieval - a famous manuscript illustration and very few carvings in churches, with Norman influence.

Sorry, I can't help with 13th or 14th century stuff - you are dealing with a rabid twelfth centuryist (no such word, but you know what mean!) :?

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:27 am
by Bittersweet
Thanks anyway Ranulf.

Hope the discussion's helped Mouse though.

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:40 am
by Hraefn
A lightly armed skirmisher




Image

And she needs a good meal too, skinny............

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:59 am
by Bittersweet
Chilly :shock:

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:04 pm
by The Methley Archer
I need one of those :D but don't tell the missus :oops:

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:40 pm
by Dave B
Where on earth did that pic come from?

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:36 pm
by Phil the Grips
Googlesearch "Medieval archer" with safety off or look here
http://www.fashionworks.org/Lorena.html (NSFW)

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:37 pm
by lucy the tudor
Dear Goodness, feed the woman up a bit, she'll never survive the winter :shock:
Lucy

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:50 pm
by guthrie
She's a little bit on the artifical side, methinks.
I keep trying to work out what the castle is in the background though. It looks rather Scottish.

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:49 pm
by The Methley Archer
This is a public apology to my beloved wife for my inapropriate comment in my post above. :oops:

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:31 pm
by Dave B
Your voice sounds a bit high, are you OK?

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:59 pm
by The Methley Archer
So it would be when your wife knows were the weapons are kept :shock:

Re: Question for the archers among us

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:25 pm
by Karen Larsdatter
There's a few quivers & such at http://larsdatter.com/archers.htm -- can't remember for sure whether any (other than the Mary Rose arrow-bag) were specifically English.

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:47 am
by Jim
The Osprey book on the English Archer has a lot of pics of quivers of all types, many of which are photos of original c15th paintings.

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:04 pm
by gregory23b
Nice pics as always Karen. ;-)

A lot are 'foreign' ie, they are of a foreign or historical (or both) context, hence the recurve bow and arrow quiver, they were used, but not as such by say, English, they would not conform to the requirements.

"I'd be surprised if skirmishing archers didn't have quivers of some sort other than the bag type."

A 3 foot arrow is not the easiest thing to draw from a quiver, certainly a back quiver is not that convenient, an English arrow is particularly long in comparison. It would seem that many of our battles were somewhat static until the formations advanced on each other.

Also, do the Schilling Chronicles not offer the possibility of the belt arrows slightly tied in as well? Some dim recollection scratches at me.

----

Ref, the wicker baskets, where is the source for that? The bags seem right, again as per the Schilling Chronicles, where they show English arches with what appear to be bags, although they could be simplified cone shapes to show the actual shape of the arrows when in the belt, ie the sketch lines. I see wicker baskets on sale, but not been given a source for them, they make sense, but even so, any ideas?

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:06 pm
by gregory23b
But more interesting still:

http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server ... 001209.JPG

per Karen's link, check out the shoe soles, top left...

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:16 am
by Bittersweet
Running spikes :shock: ??

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:31 am
by chrisanson
hobnails

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:54 am
by Jim
Micro-rocket boosters.

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:22 am
by Bittersweet
chrisanson wrote:hobnails
I thought so too but they looked so pointed....artists impression perhaps?