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  1. #11
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    18th October 09
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    How was the "early 18th century" date determined?

    Iconography?
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. #12
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    19th October 09
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    How was the "early 18th century" date determined?

    Iconography?
    Good question and a real concern when I was deciding my maximum bid! Was I about to buy a replica?

    Design: Certainly the dot-and-ring marks are common and consistent with the era. However, similar designs are to be found on earlier Anglo-Saxon artifacts and in other cultures, including Jordan for example. Later sporrans also sometimes have these decorations, especially when they are designed to look like those made in the late 17th or first half of the 18th Centuries. The MOD cantles for the 1953 coronation being a good example. What I think is more telling is the additional sliding bolt to lock the catch mechanism. These only seem to turn up on sporrans from the first half of the 18th Century, such as a couple in the Glasgow Museums’ collection (one of which, incidentally, also lacks evidence of a central tassel). Additional knobs (other than the hinges and central opening knob) tend to be purely aesthetic on later cantles but functional on the earlier ones. These sporrans were for the secure transport of ‘siller’ rather than just a fashion accessory. Early 18th Century cantles also tended to have the bags laced or riveted to the outside, rather than the inside. Not conclusive evidence as this one has a replacement bag but consistent if the replacement bag seeks to replicate the original.

    Construction: On this cantle, all the brass components have been cast. The top, sides and back plate have been cast as a single unit. The front plate with its hinges and dot-and-ring decoration has all been cast. Dot-and-ring marks on later cantles tend to be machined or stamped, these were integral to the mould. Most later cantles were constructed of industrially-produced sheet brass from a rolling mill and soldered together. This one has no soldered joints. Every knob appears to have been cast and hand finished so, although visually similar, no two are identical. The central knob appears to have been cast using the lost-wax method. Three knobs have threaded shanks but quite unlike any industrialised version; made when threads were called ‘worms’.

    A very similar cantle (below), somewhat ambiguously described as “dating to the first half of the 18th Century” and “mid 18th Century” and “early 18th Century” is currently advertised by Alban Arms and Armour. The similarities are so striking that I am confident it was made by the same craftsman. We will be doing a better comparison later.
    Similar Cantle.jpg
    It's coming yet for a' that,
    That Man to Man, the world o'er,
    Shall brothers be for a' that. - RB

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