When our client commissioned a scabbard for our very first Middle Earth , Elthrovan, I was delighted to sink my teeth into his interpretation of Tolkien’s themes and aesthetics.
The client provided a thorough sketch detailing the proportions and aesthetics he envisioned, and it fell to me to interpret these into a feasible and durable scabbard.
The resulting piece is made from hand-carved hardwood, coated in mottled brown leather which was wet-formed and stitched around the core. A series of thick cord risers between the wood and leather form the basis for the regal geometric designs, with the addition of tooled and sculpted stars.
While the scabbard is, in almost every way, made to the client’s original brief, we made a few adaptations to his design. The most significant of these was the inclusion of a short steel chape, adding an historical touch while increasing durability.
The chape, with its hand-carved detail, also brings out the silver-painted detailing of the stars. I painted these with a very dry brush, lightly sanding the paint back once it had dried for a weathered, antique look.
The final touch was a felt-lined mouth, measured to protrude protectively just over the crossguard. The lips are lined with a soft tan felt, with a thick cord riser sandwiched between the layers and secured with decorative stitching.
These small details gave the scabbard a degree of realism above and beyond the original excellent brief. Paired with the longsword itself, it’s my hope that our client feels like he’s in possession an artefact of Middle Earth itself.
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