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Dear Tyler,

You might try having the belt encircle the scabbard underneath the leather cover, entering and emerging at the slit. This may require not tightening the stitching until after threading the belt through. It may also mean, depending on how you arrange things, that there will have to be a wide spot and slit on the belt to allow it to thread through itself where it crosses over, although I think you ought to be able to set the system up in a way that doesn't need this to happen.

Best,

Mark Millman
Tyler C. wrote:
I did a quick mock up today with a scrap piece of leather...

That's exactly the kind of experiments that I have been doing. Great work, keep it up, and keep posting. Love your work and insights.
Looking good Tyler! I tried a similar thing a few years ago with a sword and scabbard circa 1000 AD, though I used a slider. It's nice to see that your photos seem to match with what I noticed too: the scabbard tends to try to 'roll' or move more just passing through the slider, and it seems to stress the belt more too.

I like your mock-up quite a bit; I really think that any sliderless options will likely need risers, or some sort of integration through the back as well to take a bit of that stress off the leather in the front. Your photos show some very obvious, classic stretching and rolling, which we do not see in scabbard fragments with slider impressions. This aligns well with what was discussed above, which strongly implies one of two things:

1. Sliders may have indeed persisted longer than some of us assumed. This could also take the form of risers under the leather or wooden knobs to help brace the belt.

2. If sliders were not used, then there might need to be some changes made to the setups. That longevity test would be a good idea, to see how long the scabbard suspension will last. Additional materials like a linen underwrap that could also be slit to help reenforce the slit would be something worth looking at, and is seen relatively commonly in the literature of finds.

The above conclusions are pretty obvious, but we have now moved from personal anecdotes or speculation to the realm of digestable and testable results. I currently do not have much time to experiment, but I wonder how a linen layer might hold up, and then how a linen and leather layer (with either one on top) holds up. I may try a sort of mock up of them if I can carve out some time. Some of the early 11th century images (I'm thinking those from France and Spain, mostly) show no suspension, or show a belt going in one end and coming out the other. This could absolutely be a slider, but I will note that the gap in the belt is much wider than is attested by ANY finds, and is wider than the images we know to be showing sliders. Could passing a belt under 1-2" of the scabbard cover be helping to compensate for no slide? That might also allow for a scabbard to be worn with the suspension worn against the body (if there is a slider present), presenting a 'suspensionless' image to the world. Maciej Kopciuch of Art of Swordmaking did for a sword inspired by Richard the Lionheart's sword on his seal. I would like to see a wider 'tunnel' with either a riser on the top, multiple layers in the scabbard wrap or both. If you can try this, let me know. Otherwise, I'll see if I can mock something up. This could be what we're seeing with the loose belt in the first image in the first post of this thread: the belty might be passing through the back or on the edge and across the whole body of the scabbard, with the wider belt and longer 'tunnel' maybe removing the need for (or complementing) a slide?

Mark Millman could be correct with a belt wrap under the scabbard too, as the scabbard cover would likely help to compress the belt and keep it from moving. Especially given some of the fabric exteriors mentioned by Geibig, a leather belt over a leather scabbard cover covered with fabric could (possibly) look like an weird integrated suspension due to impressions.

Alternatively, if you again go back to the first post, William's scabbard could consist of two non-integrated loops around the scabbard exterior, possibly held with risers, possibly not, but importantly, the two loops could be linked together, much like the Z suspension seen in the Sancho scabbard. It could use a cut X rather than a cut Z, and would do the same thing as far as keeping the loops linked and helping to distribute load and stress and keep the loops from sliding too far out of position as they stretch over time.

Lastly, LOVE your sword choice. My first sword was an Albion Gaddhjalt, and I ended up shortening the blade a little bit and am going to rehilt it in iron with a hollow pommel and Johnsson geometry, and this thread will directly inform my scabbard making, just like you. You have impeccable taste.
Who doesn't like further ambiguity? Possible suspension at the throat of scabbards, mid 11th century. Scabbard decoration also present.

Source: 1028-1072 St Sever Beatus (Apocalypse), BNF Ms lat 8878, a copy of Apocalypse Commentaries by St. Beatus of Liébana.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b52505441p?fbclid=IwAR2JZPuXm3_8IhU5r5rB_SpAkuaOqfeY5yMOdgsWQLMAqBlQWMYAeYDOqqw


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