When our client requested a distinctively coloured scabbard for his custom Warding Sword, my mind went straight to the pageantry of old.
Far from the gritty greys and browns of my favourite medieval fantasy films, knighthood was a gaudy affair. With tabards and pennants boasting bright family crests on and off the field, it wasn’t just jesters who got caught up in clashing colours.
With courtly technicolour in mind I set about creating a classic integral belt scabbard, with its functional interweaving straps displaying the rich goldenrod and plum hues to their fullest.
As the Warding Sword itself is an amalgam of designs from the 1300s, creating a scabbard to match raised an interesting question: how should it hang?
According to effigies and manuscript images, the mid 1300s marked a change in the angulation of the scabbard against the hip. Earlier depictions favoured an angled scabbard, achieved by means of interwoven belts, while later images showed a shift toward vertical suspension using metal rings or leather loops.
With input from our client, and as a nod to the dates of the I.33 manuscript itself, I decided to work with an angled double belt design, incorporating risers in the scabbard to guide the contrasting straps.
The leather dyes were custom-mixed to match our client’s “house colours”. Using a swatch from his wife’s period dress as a guide, I spent an afternoon at my alchemy bench creating the perfect plummy violet.
The mouth of the scabbard is cut into curved lips and lined with tan-coloured felt.
The tip is finished with a forged steel chape.
The finished piece is all the more historical for its unorthodox palette, and ready to turn heads on and off the battlefield!
Looking for a scabbard that’s as epic as your sword is? Enquire within and discuss your ideas.