Fastened with leather straps and metal clasps, the chest was weighty, solid and secure. It seemed to promise great things. Indeed, what one Redditor found inside the box was so unique and surprising that awestruck commenters on the site could only offer their congratulations.
The Redditor, who goes by the online name of “Innuendoughnut,” had inherited the chest from his great-uncle in September 2014. Moreover, he decided to share photos of its unpacking on the image-sharing website imgur. However, when he finally opened the lid, there was nothing inside but disappointment: an empty space.
Looking closer, however, there was a little something after all – an assortment of household hardware fixtures. This must have been some mistake, unless his great-uncle had an eccentric sense of humor. Innuendoughnut decided to continue searching. Sure enough, he soon found something else.
Unfortunately, what he uncovered wasn’t any bigger or better than the hardware fixtures. In fact, all he found was a scattering of dated Christmas stickers – and not even a complete set. However, he then worked out that the trunk was fitted with a false bottom – and underneath it, he discovered his prize.
Arrows. Boxes and boxes of arrows, in fact. Innuendoughnut’s great-uncle, it transpired, had been quite the archer. Moreover, now he had bestowed his beloved collection of arrows, trophies and associated accessories upon his great-nephew. What an epic inheritance! Innuendoughnut subsequently lifted the boxes out of the chest and opened them up for a better look.
Inside, the boxes were filled to the brim with arrows and arrowheads. Among them were some lethal-looking broadheads. Designed for hunting, the sharp edges of these triangular heads are designed to inflict deadly wounds. There was also a blunt arrowhead. Those are usually used for hunting small game such as birds and rabbits.
The metal object pictured here is in fact a ground stand. The pointed end is inserted into the earth. Then, the fork is used for holding the bow and the square loop is used for holding arrows. Such stands are very useful for archery competitions. Indeed, there was evidence that Innuendoughnut’s great-uncle did a lot more than hunt.
These antique pins, for example, are evidence of trips to the Olympic Games in Germany, Denmark, New Zealand and Israel. This prompted some excited speculation on reddit that Innuendoughnut’s great-uncle had been a competitor. However, Innuendoughnut himself thought the pins were probably souvenirs rather than prizes.
The final objects to come out of the box were two rather handsome leather quivers, used for holding arrows. Quivers may be slung over a shoulder, placed on the ground or attached to the bow itself, depending on the preferences of the archer. However, there was still one thing lacking from the collection: a bow.
Fortunately, his great-uncle had left something else up in the attic: two bows. One of them appeared to be peeling apart and consequently was no longer safe for use. In fact, several commenters warned that damaged bows have a tendency to violently explode if used. Thankfully, the other bow was in better shape.
It should be noted that not all bows are the same. Recurve bows, for example, are relatively small, powerful and easy-to-use – the preferred option for beginners. Medieval longbows are hard to aim and consist of a long wooden limb that matches the height of the archer. In addition, for advanced archers, compound bows are complex instruments typically fitted with cables and pulleys.
The type of bow left to Innuendoughnut closely resembled a long bow. However, according to one imgur commenter, it was actually a hunter recurve. Whether or not it can still be used is open to question. Nonetheless, since it is a very elegant-looking bow, it would make a fine display piece.
Moreover, according to several reddit commenters, those numbers at the top of the bow refer to vital stats including its length and draw weight. “38# @ 28 is the draw weight,” wrote Fiji_Artesian. “So 38 pounds at 28-inch draw then add 2.5 lbs per inch of draw after that. Or subtract 2.5 lbs per inch of draw if you draw less than 28 inches.”
Meanwhile, Innuendoughnut did find something else in the attic – a mysterious green box. What might it contain? Another bow, perhaps? Setting it down on the attic floor, he loosened the clasps and lifted the lid. What he saw inside seemed to seriously intrigue his young cat.
The box contained more arrows. However, these were used for shooting targets. Unlike broadheads, target arrowheads do not have any barbs. This means that they can easily pierce archery targets and, more importantly, easily be removed from them. That said, target arrowheads are still quite sharp and potentially lethal.
Also in the box was a small hand-written note marked “Flint Field Round.” Innuendoughnut thought it may have been a list of target goals. The note listed several targets at a range from 20 feet to 60 feet. Arrows of 4 inches were used, and the size of the target alternated between 6 inches and 8 inches.
Hitting a 6-inch target from a distance of 60 feet sounds like a tricky feat. Nonetheless, evidently Innuendoughnut’s great-uncle was quite a skilled archer. For also inside the box were an array of competition badges. Apparently won between 1955 and 1959, they awarded him the title of “Expert Bowman.”
These badges alone make great little keepsakes. This one, for example, features a depiction of a centaur, a mythological archer dating back to ancient Greece. In fact, archers of all sorts are depicted in myths from around the world. This is hardly surprising given that humans have been shooting arrows since the Stone Age.
Moreover, the iconography of this particular badge alludes to Native America, home to the most skilled and deadly archers in North American history. The Apaches, for example, used bows and arrows for hunting, as well for warring against Spain and the United States. They used bows made from bone and would began training in childhood.
So, with his treasure fully unpacked, is Innuendoughnut planning to walk in his great-uncle’s footsteps? He didn’t say, but it would be a shame not to put all his kit to some use. After all, in the words of an ancient Zen master whose identity has been lost through the ages: “One shot. One life.”