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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu 06 Oct, 2016 1:33 pm    Post subject: XVI century Italian style falchion/storta scabbards?         Reply with quote

Hi,

I am researching XVI century Italian style falchion/storta scabbards for my current hobby project (just posted the sword itself here, at http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=315008#315008 ).

I searched the forums (in addition to other sources, of course) but mostly the discussions I found centered either on earlier (medieval) falchions, or on messers.
In this case I am interested in a very specific type and period. Period is basically Italian Renaissance, XVIc, maybe late XV to early XVII. Type is a relatively short, wide, straight or slightly curved falchion or the kind that is sometimes called in museums by names like storta, or cortelagio, etc.

The very few such I found with scabbards are all obviously set up for vertical suspension, most likely from a sword belt passing right behind the top of the scabbard. The only metal fittings are chape at the bottom and throat at the top, no visible suspension rings on the sides (unlike some longer falchions of the same period that are basically set up for horizontal suspension, like Eastern sabers).
The only one I found actually showing the suspension method is an obviously accidental shot from Carl Koppeschaar's Wallace collection album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/98015679@N04/9230686202/in/album-72157634514763041/
If you zoom in on it, you can see on the bottom left the mouth of a falchion scabbard, beside the falchion's handle. And there is a clearly visible large vertically oriented belt loop, on the back of the throat mount!
This is the way I am planning to set my scabbard up, unless someone comes up with a better suggestion. Any other examples you can point me to?

Another peculiar observation I made is that all scabbards for swords of this type appear to be covered with some kind of fabric (rather than leather). And colors are rather bold, especially accounting for fading with time. Like red, or green (in the link above). I will use blued steel scabbard fittings, so will need some bright color for contrast (not black or brown).
Any thoughts on this? Does it make sense, or did I accidentally hit upon atypical examples? What kinds of modern fabric would be suitable to look like what they had in period?


I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Need to decide soon, the sword is waiting for its scabbard!

Thanks.
Alex.
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2016 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No responses at all? I guess the subject matter is too narrow...

Anyway, I decided that reddish colors seemed to be most common, and ordered a piece of velvet in a color called something like "rose gold" (looked nice in a picture).
Will be making blued steel throat and chape with some decorative cutouts, and a vertical belt loop soldered on the back of throat.

Alex.
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 650

PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2016 5:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Alex, I don't know anything about it. But I really love falchions and very much admire your project from the other thread, so I'm interested in seeing how this scabbard turns out. I will say that I've heard and read about fabric covered scabbards, but they don't seem to be made much in today's repros. Would love to see a well-made one...
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon 17 Oct, 2016 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Nicolaysen wrote:
... they don't seem to be made much in today's repros...

... and I think I now know why, having glued the velvet covering on last night. Turns out velvet (and similar kinds of fabric) is hellishly hard to work with and maintain! I should have asked my wife about fabric properties before making this decision, she had a good laugh listening to me cursing in frustration.
Basically it is very sensitive to slightest bit of pressure or to any kind of moist touch. It flattens or bends the fibers and produces areas of different hue/color, which makes the item look kind of blotchy depending on lighting. I found that some of it can be evened out by light steam ironing, but still achieving a uniform color throughout appears to be practically impossible (especially on the back around the seam).
On the other hand, even if a perfect velvet covered scabbard could be produced, it would pick up the same blotchy look and even worse in just a few days of use. Simply from getting grabbed or brushed against things, no matter how carefully handled. So I am sure this is how they looked in period, too.

Alex.
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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue 15 Nov, 2016 11:35 am    Post subject: The scabbard is done!         Reply with quote

Here it is, finally completed! Take a look at the attached pictures.


Alex.



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Alex Indman




Location: NYC
Joined: 13 Sep 2012

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Tue 15 Nov, 2016 11:46 am    Post subject: more pictures         Reply with quote

Two more pictures: showing how the belt loop is attached (I decided not to bother too much with cleaning up solder joint, as it is on the back side), and how the whole package is worn on a narrow sword belt (sorry, no period clothes to match...).


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