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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Oct, 2010 4:04 pm    Post subject: 16th and 17th century sword scabbards         Reply with quote

Hi,
Were sword scabbards in the 16th and 17th century still (in general) made out of wood covered in leather, or were they made out of just leather, like most non-metal scabbards of the 18th and 19th centuries.
I was curious about my Munich Town Guard sword from A&A (which I hear is suitable from about 1540-1700, primarily though in 1550-1650) , should it have an all leather scabbard like A&A sells for about $100 or should it have a wood cored one covered in thin leather.
I'm really hoping I can go with an all leather one because they are much cheaper... and I know most Revolutionary war period scabbards are done this way.
Thanks,
Z
p.s. I am getting a custom hanger similar to the pic I post, but all leather, if that makes any dif.



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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
Joined: 07 Oct 2008

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Posts: 218

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The one in the picture looks like wood, with a leather covering.
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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No one?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is an early 17th century scabbard from Dresden that is velvet over leather over wood. I can't say if it was typical or not, as it's just one example.
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ChadA

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 6:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did some research on this because I have that sword too. I think leather-only is fine. Somewhere I have an image that suggests that this is appropriate for this one. A hanger is also correct for this type, and scabbard and hanger can even be used defensively in the offhand.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Oct, 2010 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
I believe wood with a leather or fabric cover was probably still the most common in this period. That being said there are a few examples that would lead to all leather being plausible for this period.
Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think that the assessment that they stopped making leather covered wood scabbards is quite correct...

You need to think about what kind of blade you are housing... if its sharp on the edge you will need a wood core otherwise the blade will cut right through the leather...

but for something like a rapier or small sword which mostly don't have a cutting edge you can get away without the wood core and just make it out of leather....

even some Napoleonic and later saber sheaths made of metal had wood inserts to protect the blade...
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 6:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
You need to think about what kind of blade you are housing... if its sharp on the edge you will need a wood core otherwise the blade will cut right through the leather...


I have to disagree. Knife and dagger sheaths were often made of leather with no ill consequences in their period. I have a number of replicas of sharp daggers and knives that don't cut "right through" their sheaths. I also have a few leather transport scabbards (and used to have many more) for a few of my swords that have never cut right through.

There is some evidence that there are at least a few medieval sword sheaths made without a wood core. There are also later swords, like basket hilts, whose scabbards were made without wood cores.

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On some swords like hangers and Hirschfänger type blades you start to see leather only in the (17th?) 18th C

Otherwise it seems to me, from those originals I have close encounters with, that wood core and leather cover is the norm. It remains true also for small swords, as well as many C&T military swords well into the 18th C and beyond.

Leather only is not very common for swords.
I have seen one early 14th C scabbard that is leather only, but it is generally very rare.

Please see image below of two wood core rapier scabbards with thin leather/parchment cover. This would have been covered in turn by a nice fabric, such a velvet. In one case the parchment is from a medieval manuscript! (photo by Fabrice Cognot):



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Levi Woods




Location: Kelowna, BC, Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 9:43 pm    Post subject: scabbards for federswartz?         Reply with quote

a little earlier than the current topic but does anyone have picks of a surviving scabbard and suspension for a federswartz? i know that meyer (1570) used them as training weapons and i would love to create a historically accurate version for my cas trainer.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 27 Oct, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject: Re: scabbards for federswartz?         Reply with quote

Levi Woods wrote:
a little earlier than the current topic but does anyone have picks of a surviving scabbard and suspension for a federswartz? i know that meyer (1570) used them as training weapons and i would love to create a historically accurate version for my cas trainer.

Hmm, to tell the truth I doubt they had any real suspension system - since they only were intended for training, there would be no need to actually wear them anywhere, so they were likely delivered where they needed in a box or, perharps, caeeying scabbard of sorts?
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