Dear Crowbard, please have a look at these two pictures. You can see that the Italian crossbow has now been strung. It looks better, doesn't it? In both pictures I hope you will be able to see a bronze age short sword (the blade being about eighteen inches long. I bought it at a country auction where it was catalogued as Chinese. I think it might well be Persian (Luristan), and would value your opinion? Over to you.