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  1. #1
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    Solid brass sporran chain-straps

    DSCF6786.jpg DSCF6789.jpg DSCF6790.jpg DSCF6792.jpg

    Some of you may recognise this goatskin and tan leather sporran I finished recently, and posted here, but it has been bothering me that it might be difficult to match a chain to the nice brass cantle.

    So here's my solution.

    A nice bit of diamond-cut curb-chain with vintage-look Albert-swivel clips, and mounted on the same leather as the sporran - so we now have a matching set that's ready for duty.

    And while I was at it, I made a selection of others using the same curb-chain and cable-chain with plain oval links - which looks rather good with the heavy brass hinged MoD 'Culloden' cantles.

    I had the opportunity to examine in detail a hinged cantle sporran from the 1840s, that was using a gun-metal cantle believed to date from the mid-1600s. This had the old owner's chain still attached - no strap and buckle, just a long length of similar cable-chain with clips at the ends.

    I have a few solid cast brass cantles available at the moment, where I sell my handiwork along with a selection of vintage sporrans, so these are destined to go alongside them. I think they will go very well with the brown all-leather vintage styles.

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  3. #2
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    Even buying the materials 'trade' the combined component cost is surprisingly high.

    As I make my sporrans and chain-straps to sell to raise funds for a folk museum that survives solely on what it can raise itself, and is a registered Scottish charity, I have to cover my meterial costs and still leave some for the museum.

    So your opinions, please.

    I think 49 (approx' $62usd) per chain is what they need to be - is this about right, do you think..?

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    I had the opportunity to examine in detail a hinged cantle sporran from the 1840s, that was using a gun-metal cantle believed to date from the mid-1600s. This had the old owner's chain still attached - no strap and buckle, just a long length of similar cable-chain with clips at the ends.
    As I mentined it, you may as well see it...

    DSCF6240.jpg

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troglodyte View Post
    As I mentined it, you may as well see it...

    DSCF6240.jpg
    Alexander Robertson's :-)

    I very much doubt the 1600s gun metal.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Alexander Robertson's :-)

    I very much doubt the 1600s gun metal.
    Of Dundonnachie fame..?

    Spot on.

    The intriguing date inscribed on the cantle (1634) is what leads the Robertsons to think it is much older than the Victorian sporran it's now attached to. If, indeed, it is actually a date - the style of the numerals is right for the 17th century.

    The metal and workmanship is puzzling when compared to the quality of similar style 18th century brass cantles, and our Dundonnachie's means, but the old gun-making trade centred not too far away makes the idea plausible.

    I doubt very much that 1634 is the date of the cantle, but perhaps a reminder of something significant - there was plenty going on at that time, so it's anyone's guess.

    The way the hair pelt is folded and attached to the body of the sporran is curious, and is well worth close inspection. Sadly, the canlte no longer opens easily.

    The Woodshiel sporran on display alongside Dundonnachie's is much more revealing, and shows how complex the construction could be. And the brass cantle of this one is much more what you might expect.

    The Robertson centre was very welcoming and co-operative with me, and was quite happy to let me get the sporrans out of the case and give them close scrutiny for an hour or so. I'm sure they'd do the same for you.

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