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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2014 8:23 pm    Post subject: Gallery: 13th Century Scabbards         Reply with quote

The purpose of this thread is to serve as a resource for those wanting inspiration for a historical scabbard from the 13th century. While there have been good threads recently on the topic of scabbards, see here, here, here, and here the specific purpose of this thread is to serve as an image repository, so that users can browse for themselves.

This thread is only intended to be a reasonably representative look at scabbards from the 13th century; it is not intended to be exhaustive. In general, I have selected scabbards that I felt are noteworthy for their appearance, or that seem to be reasonably common, if such there can even be said to be such a thing as a "common scabbard". As a rule, I have tried to exclude images who have a broad range of dates (especially greater than 50 years) because these are unhelpful to those who want to create a scabbard appropriate for a fairly specific time frame.

With that aside, let's begin.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: 1200-1225         Reply with quote

Austria 1200-1220
ONB Cod.507 Reiner Musterbuch

A fairly representative early 13th century scabbard. Notice there's no chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4746/14021/

England 1200-1220
BL Royal 1 D X Psalter

Notice the very elaborate "X" designs along this scabbard, and the fact that this is a comparatively rare example of a green scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5423/17780/

England 1212-1220
Morgan M.43 Huntingfield Psalter

Just a plain black scabbard, largely devoid of decor, save for the black chape at the bottom. Presumably, the chape would have been painted.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4649/12026/

England 1200-1225
BL Arundel MS157 Psalter with Calendar


A comparatively rare example of a purple scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4081/12334/

England 1200-1225
BL Arundel MS157 Psalter with Calendar

Double "X" stitching near the top of this scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4081/12335/

England 1200-1225
Bodley Ashmole 1511 The Ashmole Bestiary

This scabbard is fairly representative for early 13th century scabbards.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4376/8780/

England 1200-1225
BSB Clm 835 Psalter

A rare blue scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4444/13494/

France 1200-1225
BFLG Mss l15289 Latin Bible

A rare orange scabbard

France 1225
BNF Arsenal 1186 Psalter of St. Louis and Blanche of Castile





Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5005/15588/

Germany 1200-1225
MAN Ms.21 Elisabethpsalter

Fairly elaborate stitchwork on this German scabbard. This element seems to be distinctive to the empire.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4572/11745/

Germany 1204-1219
Morgan M739 Book of Hours

A good depiction of the sword belt and suspension, and a fairly typical scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4688/12045/

Germany 1210-1213
WLB HB II 24 Psalterium non feriatum

Another good example of highly elaborate stitchwork on a German scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4971/15405/

Germany 1220-1230
SBB Msc.Bibl.48 Bamberger Psalter

Another rare example of a purple scabbard. It looks like the line at the bottom of the scabbard might be from the leather being glued together.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4902/14532/

Spain 1220
Morgan M.429 Huelgas Apocalypse

Notice the red "x" stitching descending down the scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4648/12025/
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 2:46 am    Post subject: 1225-1250 France         Reply with quote

France 1225-1250
Bib. Ste. Genevieve MS.1273 Psalter of Marguerite de Bourgogne

A fairly ordinary scabbard, which is brownish in colour.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4050/11569/

France 1225-1250
BL Harley 1526 Bible moralisée, v.1

A black scabbard with comparatively little stitching, especially when compared with the earlier, more elaborate German scabbards.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4107/12194/

France 1225-1250
BL Harley 1526 Bible Moralisée, v.1

Another black scabbard, but this time with the "X" more frequently seen.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4107/12201/

France 1225-1249
ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisée

Two rarer scabbard colours, orange and green, accompanying scabbards with very wide rain guards. Notice also the "w"-shaped stitchwork.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10663/

France 1225-1249
ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisée

Black scabbard with fancy white integral suspension.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10665/

France 1225-1249
ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisee

A good example of several types of scabbards with stitching and incised horizontal lines.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10672/

France 1230
BNF Français 19093 Carnet de Dessins

Pretty classic scabbard design- note the absence of a chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4266/12015/

France 1230
Evreux BM lat.04 Modèles d'illustration des psaumes

Notice the hints of a banded design extending further down the scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4486/11169/

France 1246-1250
Morgan M.730 Psalter-Hours of Guiluys de Boisleux

A comparatively rare red scabbard. Note the red chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4686/11759/

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

Good examples of offset suspensions. Also note the fairly rare dun-coloured leather in some of the images.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...&b.gif

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

Notice the fairly unusual chape to the far right.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...&b.gif

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

The chape on Goliath's scabbard is a variation of the more ordinary horseshoe chape. In addition, notice the horizontal incised lines.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...&b.gif

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

Just a few more black scabbards. Notice the white incised horizontal bands.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...tm46rc.gif


Last edited by Craig Peters on Thu 21 Aug, 2014 8:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An excellent collection of images Craig.

I wouldn't get too hung up on the colours used (colours change as the chemical content degrades and I think that expecting an artist to worry too much about the colour of the scabbard, let alone the colour of a chape might be unrealistic) although I have produced purple red, orange, yellow, green and blue leather using methods taken from early medieval techniques described in the Mappae Clavicula, Theophilus etc.

I wonder if the 'W' stitchwork on the Bible Moralisée examples are actually two different layers of leather, as the one immediately below (also Bible Moralisée) shows the same pattern in white with black leather below it.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 21 Aug, 2014 8:15 pm    Post subject: 1225-1250 England, Germany         Reply with quote

England 1250
BL Royal 2 A XXII Westminster Psalter

The ubiquitous Matthew of Paris humble knight. Excellent detail on this scabbard, including the modified horseshoe chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4150/8415/

England 1250
Cambridge R.16.2 Trinity Apocalypse

No chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4970/15401/

England 1250
Cambridge R.16.2 Trinity Apocalypse

Notice the decor on the knight's belt.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4970/15402/

England 1250
Cambridge R.16.2 Trinity Apocalypse

No chapes on either of these scabbards, and dressed-down decor.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4970/15404/

England 1250
Cambridge MS O.9.34 Romance of Alexander

More belt decor, and a very large horseshoe chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4974/15435/

England 1250
BNF Français 403 Apocalypse

Have a look at the circular stitching on the curved scabbard. Also note the horizontal incised lines on the orange scabbard along with the modified horseshoe scabbard- the latter similar to that seen on the chape in the Matthew of Paris image.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5453/18121/

Germany 1230-1250
MET25.204.3 Single Leaf: Resurrection

Bold orange scabbards, with a very simple design. Notice the white thong and the lack of a chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5018/15647/

Germany 1240
SBB MS.theol.Lat.fol.379 Heisterbacher Bibel

Fairly typical scabbards, but note the white liner along the edge of the rain guard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4787/13487/
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J. Hargis




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig,
Many thanks for the time & effort in posting these, very informative.
Jon

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These are informative, thanks for posting. I would caution people about taking these images and their depictions as absolute gospel. For example, many of these images do lack chapes. But the artists, in many cases (not all), have left out other details that don't further the story like buckles, ties, etc.

Before deciding the artist didn't depict a chape because it wasn't common then we have to look at other details in the drawing and at the artists' other drawings (if possible) to see if they are simply leaving out non-critical things. Chapes are important to us now, but they may have been of low importance to a 13th century illustrator, especially since they likely don't factor into the story being depicted.

We also have to look at sizes carefully. On modern computer monitors, some of these images are much (much) larger than they were originally. Some of the original images could be quite small and getting a chape into it may have been impossible or not worth the effort.

It may be that chapes weren't common. We'd probably be safe to say they weren't present on every scabbard. But we have to be careful with large generalizations.

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What I'm seeing is a definite lack of chapes prior to the 1230s, and great frequency by 1250. Be careful on interpreting white lines around edges as meaning anything other than a highlight to separate parts and pieces of the composition.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's my take on the subject of chapes. It's based on numerous hours of specifically examining scabbards from Manuscript Miniatures.

It's certainly possible that some illustrators left out chapes because they could not be bothered to draw them. However, I do not think this is likely. Even from the partial selection of images in this gallery, it should be apparent that artists did make efforts to get the details of strapping and stitching right on scabbards. That being the case, we should not assume that artists were leaving out visual details irrelevant to the story.

If the artist really does not want to draw irrelevant details, why not leave out scabbards altogether? It seems strange to suggest leaving out a chape altogether when you could simply omit the whole scabbard.

There are also a number of manuscripts that depict scabbards with chapes and without; the Maciejowski Bible is a good example. It doesn't make sense to suggest that some of the artists did not to bother to draw chapes and yet others did. Why go to the effort to get things right if you're going to arbitrarily leave things out?

In my view, the illustrations are good indications of chapes. The idea that every sword must have a chape is a modern one; it is not born out by looking at the medieval primary sources. I wouldn't go so far as to say chapes weren't common- they clearly are for some centuries. But in the 13th century, I'd estimate that any where from 50% or more of scabbards at the start of the century, and between 30% to 45% later on, had no chape.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Aug, 2014 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm just urging caution when making generalizations and asking that people look beyond the narrow focus of their study to view the entire context of an illustration. I'm not saying you're wrong. Happy

Craig Peters wrote:

There are also a number of manuscripts that depict scabbards with chapes and without; the Maciejowski Bible is a good example.


The Maciejowski Bible has at least 4 different illustrators if I recall correctly. I would be interesting to see if artists in the same publication were more or less likely to depict certain things than their colleagues. For example, did mac Bible Artist 1 draw more or fewer chapes than 2, 3, and 4? That would be a fascinating study. Happy

It would also be interesting to see if the presence or lack of certain details varies based on the size of the original image. Or whether the intended audience had any effect on the variability. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. Just a theory or two. Happy

Happy

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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 3:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Here's my take on the subject of chapes....


I agree with you. Considering the other detail present in the illustrations and the scabbards, If a chape wasn't depicted, then it wasn't present. When you spend hours revieweing illuminated manuscripts, the lack of chapes early in the medieval period is a fairly consistent finding.
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: 1225-1250 France         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
France 1225-1250
Bib. Ste. Genevieve MS.1273 Psalter of Marguerite de Bourgogne

A fairly ordinary scabbard, which is brownish in colour.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4050/11569/

France 1225-1250
BL Harley 1526 Bible moralisée, v.1

A black scabbard with comparatively little stitching, especially when compared with the earlier, more elaborate German scabbards.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4107/12194/

France 1225-1250
BL Harley 1526 Bible Moralisée, v.1

Another black scabbard, but this time with the "X" more frequently seen.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4107/12201/

France 1225-1249
ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisée

Two rarer scabbard colours, orange and green, accompanying scabbards with very wide rain guards. Notice also the "w"-shaped stitchwork.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10663/

France 1225-1249
ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisée

Black scabbard with fancy white integral suspension.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10665/

France 1225-1249
ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisee

A good example of several types of scabbards with stitching and incised horizontal lines.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10672/

France 1230
BNF Français 19093 Carnet de Dessins

Pretty classic scabbard design- note the absence of a chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4266/12015/

France 1230
Evreux BM lat.04 Modèles d'illustration des psaumes

Notice the hints of a banded design extending further down the scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4486/11169/

France 1246-1250
Morgan M.730 Psalter-Hours of Guiluys de Boisleux

A comparatively rare red scabbard. Note the red chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4686/11759/

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

Good examples of offset suspensions. Also note the fairly rare dun-coloured leather in some of the images.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...&b.gif

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

Notice the fairly unusual chape to the far right.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...&b.gif

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

The chape on Goliath's scabbard is a variation of the more ordinary horseshoe chape. In addition, notice the horizontal incised lines.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...&b.gif

France 1250
Morgan Ms M. 638 Maciejowski Bible

Just a few more black scabbards. Notice the white incised horizontal bands.



Source: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...tm46rc.gif

"rain guards"??? I thought there was a consensus here that cross guard leathers were not rain guards. Also, the manuscript depiction of David grip the crossgaurd with his second hand. I wonder if you could actually manuver a sword effectively that way.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip,

My mistake. I wasn't sure of the term, and for some reason, I thought DBK termed them "rain guards", but I see that's not the case.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Also, the manuscript depiction of David grip the crossgaurd with his second hand. I wonder if you could actually manuver a sword effectively that way.


David is often seen holding Goliath's sword with both hands, but of the 177 images of Goliath tagged in Manuscript Miniatures, this is the only one showing such a grip. Perhaps it's because David is a small youth and Goliath is a giant that he has to do so given the size of the sword? It might work only because he's slicing the head off of a fallen foe, as the grip seems similar to holding a cross-cut saw.

Here's more 13th century depictions with David's hands in an awkward position.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4536/11276/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4649/12030/

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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 11:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice variety of works compiled, with the result being very informative in my opinion. With regard to the subject of chapes or other details, I noticed that in some of the works there is a general lack of fine detail, and in others a higher level of detail. Some of them containing a higher level of detail do not show chapes, but show a lot of detail in the scabbard suspension. I would easily conclude meaning from that. Others lacking a general level of fine detail show a chape. While chapes have been singled out some in the ensuring discussion, other scabbard attributes can be viewed similarly with regard to level of detail depicted in each work. Of course the OP is about scabbards, but this assembly also is useful for other pieces and parts of armor and kit for this time period. I'll tag this thread for future reference. Thanks to all contributors.
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Philip,

My mistake. I wasn't sure of the term, and for some reason, I thought DBK termed them "rain guards", but I see that's not the case.

....I don't know the term either, but I remember reading a dicussion about leather around the the handle which overlaps the crossguards, and from what I read, most of the analyzers believed that they weren't for protecting againist rain.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 28 Aug, 2014 1:22 am    Post subject: 1250-1275         Reply with quote

Something interesting emerges when looking at scabbards from 1250 to circa 1275. With the exception of German scabbards, most of the scabbards seen elsewhere seem to be very plain in style, with little by way of details and design work. There also is a tendency for wide mouths on the scabbard. In many cases, the scabbards seem to be simply covered in coloured leather, with no chape. It does not make sense to assert that this is merely because of artistic style in the period, unless we are going to posit a pan-European decision to illustrate scabbards in a similar manner.

Austria 1260-1264
Morgan M.855 Gradual, Sequentiary, Sacramentary

The white straps on the scabbard in this Austrian image are very similar to those seen elsewhere in Germany.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4706/12488/

England 1250-1270
Cambridge MS B.11.4 Psalterium (Psalter)

Interesting green belt, wide mouth, little decor.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5012/15622/

England 1255-1260
Morgan M.524 Morgan Apocalypse

A rare white scabbard with a wide mouth.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4664/12448/

England 1265-1270
Bodley Douce 180 Douce Apocalypse

A fairly rare green scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4390/8849/

England 1270
MET 22.24.4 Psalter Leaf

Note the two incised lines along the edge of the scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5017/15646/

England 1270-1275
BL Additional MS 42555 Abingdon Apocalypse

A fairly ordinary scabbard here.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4075/12330/

France 1250
Morgan G.31 Bible

An interesting scabbard with what appears to be two-tone leather strapwork.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4583/12373/

France 1250
Morgan M.101 Psalter

A rare example of a white scabbard-unless, of course, the artist never filled in some other colour intended for the scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4592/12394/

France 1250-1275
BNF Français 344 Histoire du Saint Graal

Here, the "X"s on the scabbard look like they might be incised lines.

Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5454/18148/

France 1265
Morgan M.97 Psalter-Hours

Notice the white lining on the mouth of the scabbard.



Source:http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4725/12389/

France 1270
BNF Latin 10525 Psautier de Saint Louis

Plain orange or tan scabbards. Notice the wide mouth.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4345/18958/

Germany 1256
UBH Cod. Pal. germ. 389 Der Welsche Gast

The chapes on these scabbards have fairly unusual shapes. Otherwise, the scabbards are pretty standard for Germany and the empire at this time.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4830/10233/

Germany 1260
Besançon BM MS.54 Psalter Bonmont

Interesting white stitching on this scabbard, and an unusual shape for the chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/3982/10963/

Germany 1270-1275
BSB Cod. germ. 193,III Willehalm

Another fairly typical German scabbard.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4445/10259/

Italy 1250-1262
Getty MS.107 Abbey Bible

Another rare green scabbard, with very little decor.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4493/12050/
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Aug, 2014 2:35 am    Post subject: Re: 1250-1275         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Something interesting emerges when looking at scabbards from 1250 to circa 1275......

England 1250-1270
Cambridge MS B.11.4 Psalterium (Psalter)

Interesting green belt, wide mouth, little decor.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5012/15622/


To be fair, the University dating for this manuscript is "Cent. xiii (1250-1270?)."
http://sites.trin.cam.ac.uk/james/viewpage.php?index=106

That being said, the helmet style almost certainly points to some time in the first two decades of the 13th, 1201-1220. The decoration throughout the text-portion of the psalter seems more likely to be something closer to the 1270 date, but it's not uncommon for old miniatures on separate pages to be rebound into newer texts.

At any rate, I would be cautious using this example for the third quarter of the 13th century.

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 28 Aug, 2014 2:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart,

No disagreement regarding the helm. By this point in history, i.e. the second half of the 13th century, I would expect to see the classic "great helm" if a helm was being worn. The helmets really do look like something you'd see circa 1200-1225 AD.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 10 Sep, 2015 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the last quarter of the 13th century, we see a subtle shift with scabbards. First, metal chapes are shown far more frequently in period art, which suggests they were probably found far more frequently on real scabbards. Secondly, we start to see more décor on scabbards, including belt studs and what appear to be incised lines. However, we must keep in mind that these are only general trends; there is certainly evidence of scabbards with relatively little décor. It’s difficult to make generalizations about scabbards and suspensions from various regions in Europe simply because of inadequate evidence, although the few examples we have suggest that German scabbards and suspension remain similar in style to those near the beginning of the century. Spanish scabbards and suspensions often have a good deal of décor, at least in Les Cantiques de Sainte Marie.


1280-1290 France
Histoire du Saint Graal / Histoire de Merlin

Notice the V-shape and the finial on the chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4342/18717/

1280-1290 France
Histoire du Saint Graal / Histoire de Merlin

Both scabbards seem to lack a metal chape but it looks as though they might have chapes made from an additional piece of leather added to the point of the scabbard. Notice the far right belt seems to have many different holes punched for the belt; alternatively, this might be décor.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4342/18774/

1280-1290 France
Histoire du Saint Graal / Histoire de Merlin

This gives an especially good look at the throat of the scabbard, and also what appear to be incised lines near the mouth. The pattern of the lines looks quite basic, and may be nothing more than diamond cross-hatched lines.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4342/18815/

1280-1299 France
Estoire Del Graal

Of especial note is the complex lacing and double “x” pattern on this scabbard. There’s another example of a V-shaped chape.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4421/10299/

1280 Germany
Weltchronik

Though there is not much manuscript evidence for scabbards from the Holy Roman Empire at this time, the scabbards appear largely the same as before: predominantly black or dark brown the single belt-complex integral suspension (“x”-shaped strapping near throat) or the double belt complex integral suspension (“z”-shaped strapping as seen here).



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5259/17592/

1284 Spain
Les Cantiques de Sainte Marie

This image attests to the increasing complexity of scabbard design-work. There appear to be at least three “x” shaped straps, and notice the four raised horizontal bands along the scabbard. Interestingly, these are rarely seen on modern reproductions, but are reasonably common from the mid-thirteenth century to the late thirteenth century, if not longer. It also appears that there are belt studs on the sword belt and suspension.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4485/11634/

1284 Spain
Les Cantiques de Sainte Marie

The horizontal pairs of white bands contrast nicely with the rest of the black on this scabbard. Notice also the unusual shoulder strapping, which might be described as an early form of baldric.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4485/11639/

1284 Spain
Les Cantiques de Sainte Marie

A good example of how much plainer scabbards persist at this time. The only real décor seems to be the three (?) horizontal brown bands.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4487/11645/

1285-1290 France
Images de la vie du Christ et des Saints

The mouth of this scabbard seems unusually wide, although whether this reflects the reality for some period scabbards, or whether it was simply an artistic “error” is a matter of debate.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5468/18424/

1288 France
Psychomachia

An example of the horizontal bands on French scabbards.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4348/13474/

1290-1295 France
Bréviaire de Philippe le Bel

Nothing much of note here, aside from the fact that the one scabbard and belt seem to be purple.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5565/19830/

1295 France
Somme le Roi

As you can see from comparing this image to earlier ones from France in the last quarter of the 13th century, scabbards seem to remain largely the same in style. The chape in this image is somewhat challenging to interpret, but seems to be a solid “D”-shaped piece of metal, rather than a horseshoe shaped one.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4026/11419/

1295 Italy
Chronicle of William of Tyre (History of Outremer)

This sole example from Italy is another great example of a very plain scabbard from the late 13th century, and a double belt integral vertical suspension.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4949/14951/

1295-1297 France
Coutumes de Toulouse

A very important manuscript, this Coutumes de Toulouse is the only high medieval example I am presently aware of that shows swirling patterns as décor on a scabbard. Interpreting their execution is another matter: should they be incised lines that are coloured in? Or should they be painted or inked directly onto the scabbard?

Another question is whether these designs are appropriate for France as a whole, or simply the Langue d’Oc. Certainly, the horizontal bands seen on the scabbard are quite common on Spanish scabbards at this time (see the above examples). Perhaps these swirls are more appropriate southern France and Catalonia, but it's difficult to say for certain.



Source: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5572/19866/
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