You have an image on this page of a 13th Century Turkish style bow – and it is strung backwards!!! I could not believe my eyes that this is in a museum.
Yes! This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a museum do this, so I do wonder if it’s actually intentional. It would be bad for the bow itself to display it strung properly — some of these artifacts probably wouldn’t survive being strung at all, never mind stored permanently under tension (although the one in the photo is a replica). And yet for the punters who don’t know any better, bows are supposed to have strings, so maybe there’s a sense to displaying the thing done up wrong. I have yet to be at a display like this where there was someone around to ask.
Hello Carrie and Kazimira;
In researching museum collections of Mongolian bows I came across the image you both commented on, and I’d agree with Kazimira about the reason for stringing the wrong way around. One would hope that the exhibit includes a picture of a correctly strung recurve, which looks far more handsome. And accuracy should be a primary concern of museums! I have a pair of antique, perhaps ancient, Mongolian bows left by my father and have been searching about for a way to date them. Would either of you know anyone you might recommend as an expert on these? I suppose I could send images to the museum… I’m in the San Francisco area. Any thoughts, anyone?
I’m a novice in terms of Mongol bows, but I do know a very basic way to give you some idea of it’s age.
When the Manchu’s invaded, they suppressed traditional Mongol archery in favor of Manchu style archery. The Manchu bow was adopted during that time in Mongolia. The manchu has string bridges and smaller sihas. Old Mongol bows had no string bridges and very long siha but with short limbs. If you know these features, then you can tell at a glance roughly how old it is.
Thank you so much for posting these and the links!
Currently working on a project o of mine and was trying to gather references.
Glad they were of some use!