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  1. #1
    Join Date
    13th March 11
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    Historic fur choices on sporrans

    I apologize if there is already a thread on this I could not locate.

    My basic understanding is all sporrans started out as leather or skin. Then during the late 17th century they began to become more elaborate and started being made from fur and horse hair etc. Finally they have evolved to being made from every legal fur you can imagine today.

    I would like to know what furs were mostly used when they started to show up in history through the 19th century. Were there some animals that were particularlly popular?

    On a similar topic historic paintings I have seen always seem to show sporrans as being brown leather. Am I missing examples or was black leather just not done until more recent times?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Orange County California
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    Early 18th century paintings show plain deerskin sporrans, resembling a poke bag pretty much.

    In Scottish museums you see a number of sporrans like the following, probably from the mid 18th century, made from brown deerskin, which have a functional opening brass cantle. Here's a modern reproduction showing what they look like:

    In the late 18th century fur sporrans are seen. Here's one that appears to be sealskin:

    And badger is also seen, with mask, in the late 18th century. Here's one from c1840 but there are paintings from c1780 showing the same thing:

    By the early 19th century sporrans had got much more hairy. Here's one from 1835. Probably goat hair. At this time red leather rim and cones were popular, as was combining white and black hair like this, a black sporran body with a fringe of white hair:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    15th January 09
    A wee bit south of West Point
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    Many highland Regiments that fought in the Americas during the 18th century, had sporrans made of raccoon skin.
    By Choice, not by Birth

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