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Archery Leatherwork Gallery

Just back from holidays, so here’s a completely unrelated gallery of my pictures of medieval and early modern archery-related leatherwork from collections in Blighty. I’ll do posts on making copies of some of these later. I know ivory and tortise shell are cheating, although if challenged, I’ll claim they are still animal-derived materials.

18 thoughts on “Archery Leatherwork Gallery

  1. Great pics! Thanks for posting these up (and the specs as well- they’re one of the many things on my “projects I might eventually get around to” list too).

    You know, I did a rectangular bracer with the “Y” strap a while back- don’t find it stays in place on my arm that well which is vexing. How do you find yours?


  2. Thank you for sharing your nice pics 🙂

    …btw. I have a nice collection of museum pics here in Austria and Germany – also of some leather things as far as I remember…
    my museum collection: http://www.flickr.com/photos/racaire/collections/72157602008704784/
    for example Austrian Treasury:
    Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe – Hamburg:

  3. I very much enjoy your blog.

    Several of the items shown appear to be stamped. Have you come across anything on extant leather stamps from the period?

    • Hi James, stamping was a common method of decorating leather, pottery, metal and leatherwork. Prety much any object can be used as a stamp, as long as it’s hard enough to withstand the required use. I’m only aware of one extant stamp, a Viking period antler stamp in the shape of a cross – I think it’s from Hedeby. Regia Anglorum have an illustration of it on their site where it is identified as a pottery stamp. The address is http://www.regia.org/pottery.htm, it’s about half way down the page.

      The shape of other stamps can be infered from the impression left on extant leather finds, I suspect stamps would be recut or reused when they wore out. That’s what I do with mine.

      I’ll keep an eye out and post again if I find any.


      • Do you have any pictorial examples of embossing/incising? Say Viking, Anglo Saxon, Norman, or Roman York?

      • Hi Cat, there are a few examples from Anglo-Scandanavian York. I’ve left some pictures here, there are also the leather sheaths from Parliament Street, finds 753-5 published in YAT 17/4 Finds from Parliament Street and Other Sites in the City Centre. For Roman, there’s the Newstead finds in the National Museum of Scotland. Here’s a chamfron. Can’t say I know of any Norman examples.

  4. For the “Bracer, Mary Rose Museum 1545, similar to the MoL one” do you happen to have the dimensions? James and I worked out a stamp in maple this evening for the scallops and I want to make sure I get the size right.



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