While crossbows feature regularly in arms and armour sales, traditional bows are rarely seen.
The McEwen collection included numerous examples of Eastern reflex bows which consistently sold for several times their estimate. When unstrung, reflex bows are curious in that the limbs curve away from the shooter. When strung, however, their composite construction of horn, sinew and wood allowed Asian archers to generate huge power from a short bow, making them ideal for use from horseback.
The most expensive single bow in the collection was a 19th century Indian reflex bow with painted decoration on all surfaces which sold for more than twice its upper estimate for £1400.
Another 19th century painted Indian reflex bow made £1100 and a mixed lot of six Asian reflex bows estimated at £200-300 was bid all the way to £5000.
A cased set of 18 late 18th or early 19th century Ottoman arrows with slender feather flights, bamboo shafts painted with bands of decoration and conical iron tips also made £5000 against a similar estimate.
A Chinese Qing Dynasty bow case of fabric covered leather with velvet, metal and mother of pearl decoration fetched £3200 and a matching quiver took £3800. Both were thought possibly to have been made for the Imperial Guard.