Leather covered scabbard for a Bronze Age Ewart Park Sword, based on remnants of scabbards that have been found both in the UK and Europe.  The organic nature of a wood and leather scabbard does not lend itself to survival once buried or deposited, and on the whole we don’t have great soil conditions in the UK, and some of the best preserved finds are from Europe.

Two pieces of wood were shaped to fit the Ewart Park sword, which narrows towards the handle, and it was lined with calf-skin which still has some hair attached. Whilst modern calf-skin is different to the animals and hide used some 3000 years ago in their scabbards, it doesn’t react to the bronze. It holds the sword snuggly and prevents it from rattling in the scabbard or being marked by the wood, and has the added effect of burnishing the sword each time it is drawn.

A single piece of Veg-tanned leather was cut and wrapped around the wooden core, then glued in place, as evidence does not support the use of stitching on scabbards in the bronze age – however there is evidence that the leather may have been cut as a narrow strip and then wound around the scabbard, spiralling towards the top. Since veg-tanned leather will slowly turn a tan colour with time, it was decided to stain the scabbard in tan, and treat it with dubbin.

The suspension loop is in veg-tanned leather, based on an image on the Mykonos vase, and has been left in its natural state to see how it fades over time.

Sword cast by Neil Burridge.