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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri 06 Apr, 2018 8:16 pm    Post subject: Leatherless Scabbards         Reply with quote

I've been researching Swiss and German daggers during the last half of the 13th century, and realize I have no information about scabbards. To my knowledge. leather only seems to dominate for knives and daggers during this period, but do we have any examples or knowledge of a wood scabbard without a leather covering? I can think of no examples for this, but again, I'm no expert. I've found a great priced reproduction that I'd like to use for living history, but I feel that the scabbard, though beautiful in it's own right, is much less accurate on the historical sliding scale than the blade. The dagger is "Schweizerdolch" based on a surviving piece from the last half of the 13th century in the Landesmuseum in Zurich. Does anyone have any thoughts or info about this?


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Dan Kary




Location: Canada
Joined: 12 Dec 2017

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Fri 06 Apr, 2018 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not an expert either. But I have a few books and have been doing a bit of research on swiss daggers/baselards lately and I can/have find/found no evidence of this kind of scabbard. Of course, this lack of evidence doesn't mean it didn't happen but the time to believe something is when there is evidence...so until there is an example I would be skeptical. That is a nice looking dagger though! Maybe you can buy it and have a scabbard made up?
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr, 2018 5:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Dan. I, too, have seen ZERO examples of a wood-only scabbard. Thanks for your input!
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Joined: 30 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2018 4:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1+ for me too
Lots of research but no evidence for wood sheaths for knives
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2018 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
1+ for me too
Lots of research but no evidence for wood sheaths for knives


Thanks Harry.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2018 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to drag in possible irrelevancies, there are a couple all-wood scabbards from Bronze Age burials in Denmark, at least. Maybe one or two from other places, but way early. It certainly wasn't the only option, they were also made of leather/hide, with or without wood, and there's a neat one with a wood core wrapped in strips of bark.

Plus there 3 very nicely carved wood scabbards from the Nydam bog finds, c. 400 AD. At least one has elaborate metal fittings.

A bit earlier than you were thinking of, obviously! And I'm *not* trying to claim that the concept would carry over.

Matthew
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Joined: 30 Jul 2012
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Reading list: 13 books

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Posts: 659

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2018 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent point Matthew
I think given the baselard in the original post, I at least was thinking only of the medieval period. I did not consider all of the middle ages, or iron age, or bronze age....
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Just to drag in possible irrelevancies, there are a couple all-wood scabbards from Bronze Age burials in Denmark, at least. Maybe one or two from other places, but way early. It certainly wasn't the only option, they were also made of leather/hide, with or without wood, and there's a neat one with a wood core wrapped in strips of bark.

Plus there 3 very nicely carved wood scabbards from the Nydam bog finds, c. 400 AD. At least one has elaborate metal fittings.

A bit earlier than you were thinking of, obviously! And I'm *not* trying to claim that the concept would carry over.

Matthew


Good point Matthew. You are correct that I was referring to the baselard/schweizerdolch, but this is interesting to learn nonetheless. I can also add that in the 15th and 16th centuries we of course have Holbein Daggers with wood cores overlaid in latten, gold, and/or other soft metals featuring very ornate carvings and decoration. Of course, no leather here either. I’ve attached two examples.



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