Cranequin

Cranequin

Cranequin
Southern Germany
Steel, wood, rope
1565–1574
Museum no. M.73-1925

This is a device for drawing back the string of a crossbow under very high tension. In this example, the ratchet is etched in relief with dogs chasing hares and the drum in intaglio with dancing couples. This combination of scenes reflects the fact that hunting, as an elite sport, was frequently used as a metaphor to describe the pursuit of the opposite sex.