So, how did they make and use dagger scabbards?
I can find b**ger all information in the literature that i have available to me just now. It appears anyway that from the 14th century onwards, dagger scabbards had chapes made of copper alloy. But how were they attached to the bottom? By glue? Maybe, although some have a few holes on the back that might be for sewing them onto the leather scabbard.
Even worse, what about the top metalwork? I've searched the small finds database, and virtually everything on there is either dagger pommel or guard, or else a chape. The only example of a dagger scabbard locket that I have seen, as they seem to be called, is in the Salisbury and south Wiltshire medieval museum catalogue, part 1.
This artefact appears to be still with the dagger it was made for, and appears to be 14th century. The brass locket thingy appears to be one piece, so perhaps cast, and has two horizontal metal loops on the back, i.e. the dagger may well have been worn suspended from the belt by a thong, as you can see in some pictures of the period, rather than in the modern method by a vertical belt loop. Although the latter may have been used as well, judging by some pictures where the dagger is hard up on the belt.
But how did it grip the leather? More glue? Maybe some research into the strength of period glues is necessary. If the dagger was effectively held by the loop of metal, then the leather need not be very strongly held.
From the few surviving daggers, I also get the impression that our modern ones tend to be a bit longer than the medieval ones. Certainly some of them, including the one mentioned above, are around 8 inches long, whereas my modern reproductions, nice though they are, tend to a foot or so. But then I am probably 6 to 10 inches taller than a lot of medieval men and a longer dagger suits me.
Any thoughts, observations?
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Medieval and Tudor chemistry and material things, alchemy, casting and random things distilled from books and the internet.