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  1. #1
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    Leather Restoration on MOD 'Culloden' Brass Cantle Sporran

    I was lucky enough to find one of the MOD 'Culloden' brass cantle sporrans. It was issued to the Gordon Highlanders. I was able to pick it up for a real bargain which was quite a relief!

    I was thinking of keeping the age on the brass cantle but I was going to see about trying to restore the leather or at least try to recondition it first before possibly sending it to someone for a rebagging in deer leather. I just thought I would see if anyone on here has tried reconditioning their and to see what products they reccommend.

    Here is the bag!
    51489.jpg
    51489a.jpg
    51489b.jpg
    51489c.jpg
    Last edited by jesuisprest; 12th January 18 at 11:21 AM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    27th October 09
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    I'm surprised to see it with unfinished leather. As far as I know, these were intended solely as dress sporrans, and the leather should be finished in white. I seem to recall from past discussions that the ones in existence with unfinished leather were probably unissued, and the whitening was to be done by the end user. However, yours seems to have markings on the back indicating that it was issued to at least one person, and it sort of appears that there is some residual whitening that didn't come completely off. So my best guess would be that it was indeed issued, whitened, and then stripped.

    If that's the case, then the question is whether you want to put it back in the white like it's supposed to be, or if you just want to condition the leather and make it usable as is (in other words, please clarify your intent with the word "reconditioning"). On the ones that I have, where the whitening has worn through, it was rough leather that wouldn't necessarily take a traditional finish and might be a mess if oiled. Is yours rough-side out as well, or is it smooth leather?
    Last edited by Tobus; 12th January 18 at 02:57 PM.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
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    Thanks for your response! Looking at it again I think you are right, it was finished in white and has been stripped. The back where the numbers are has been heavily worn and is rather thin. That may be my main cause for rebagging the sporran. What I meant by reconditioning it was to apply a neutral coloured cream or softener to the leather to try and give it some life again. I was not thinking of turning it white again.

  6. #4
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    Nice find Adam. I'm not a leather expert but I'd have thought saddle soap or some such would work but make sure that whatever you use won't rub off onto your nice new Struy kilt.

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  8. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Nice find Adam. I'm not a leather expert but I'd have thought saddle soap or some such would work but make sure that whatever you use won't rub off onto your nice new Struy kilt.
    Thanks Peter. I was actually thinking the same thing about it rubbing off onto the Struy and I can't let that happen! And because the leather is worn through rather heavily on the back I think I will probably send it up to Tim at House of Labhran to get it rebagged in their lovely deerskin.

    Best,
    Adam

  9. #6
    Join Date
    27th December 16
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    Products used in restoring the leather will very based on how the leather was tanned. Normally a natural oil, such as a mink oil, a natural saddle soap, or a bees wax based leather treatment could be used to soften and protect most leathers. As there appears to be a color that was stripped off the leather this might not be the best option as what was used to remove the finish might have done more then just remove the white coloring. From the pictures the leather looks to be in a good condition, yet there is a lot that a picture can not tell about the leather. It is hard to tell from pictures if what was used for stripping of the finish damaged the leather or not.

    This is a nice find. On a quick search I found that the badge on this sporran was used from 1881 - 1958.

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/55/72/c4/5...wren-scott.jpg

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  11. #7
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    11th February 16
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    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I would (personally) not rebag it. It's in incredible condition and looks like it could live on with some love, care, and conditioning. You only have original once. If the bag was in very poor condition I could see rebagging it, but that looks to be quite serviceable, even if it's not-white anymore. Very nice piece either way.

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  13. #8
    Join Date
    21st January 17
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    You could try some Pecard leather restorer on it, I have used it on a 25 year old leather jacket and leather chair that had been suffering from being in the sun, it made both leathers very supply and improved colour after application.

    I can't remember where I bought it, but I think I paid around 12, so it was well worth the gamble.

    Very jealous of your find, if you stumble on another give me a shout

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  15. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKM View Post
    This is a nice find. On a quick search I found that the badge on this sporran was used from 1881 - 1958.

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/55/72/c4/5...wren-scott.jpg
    Thanks so much for passing on that info! It is great to know a relative date for the sporran.

    Nomad, I have used pecards plenty in the past! I actually use it on all my leather jackets. My only worry would be that it might be a bit greasey until its worn in.

    Adoom, thank you for your comment, it was not unappreciated! I know you are right, it is not great to mess with the original. The leather does appear to be in decent condition despite being stripped. The back of it has been worn a bit more heavily than I would like. I also would just be a bit reluctant to damage the original bag either through wear or reconditioning.

    Thanks!
    Adam

  16. #10
    Join Date
    7th July 09
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    The style of cantle you have was issued by the MoD for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 Your version is the MK IV which is a thinner brass plate and smaller dimples than the 3 previous editions. I have communicated with the company that had the contract to supply these cantles to the MoD and unfortunately all their records were destroyed in a fire a number of years ago,The latest stamped bag I have seen is one manufactured in 1968. Cheers and enjoy your sporran.
    Shoot straight you bastards. Don't make a mess of it. Harry (Breaker) Harbord Morant - Bushveldt Carbineers

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