Home » Skeletal Materials » Antler » 6-9th century leather worker’s toolkit

6-9th century leather worker’s toolkit

I’m about half way through the photos from the National Museum of Scotland, it takes a while to sort 800-odd pictures. I couldn’t resist the temptation to share this one. It’s a leather worker’s toolkit, dated from between AD650 and 950 * from Evie, Orkney.

Leatherworker's tool kit, 550-850AD

Leatherworker's tool kit, 550-850AD

The box is made from a single piece of timber, hollowed out so there’s no joint in the base for the heavy tools to push out. Some of the tinder boxes from the Mary Rose (82A0070, 81A1718, 81A3874 and 81A 5922) are done the same way, although in the latter case to keep moisture out of the tinder.

Leatherworker's tool kit, 550-850AD

Carving on the back of the tool box.

Leatherworker's tool kit, 550-850AD

Tool handles. The metal blades have obviously corroded, but many can be inferred from the handle shapes.

Leatherworker's tool kit, 550-850AD
Bone leather punches.

Leatherworker's tool kit, 550-850AD

Pumice, antler and leather thong. I wonder if the antler is an edge slicker?

The original can be seen in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

* An earlier version of this post had incorrect dates of 550-850 for the finds.

10 thoughts on “6-9th century leather worker’s toolkit

  1. Oh no! Now I have to got to Scotland as well! The list of museums-to-visit grows longer…
    Very nice pictures. Looking forward to the post on the other medieval leather finds from the museum 🙂

  2. Assuming an average length for the handles of 4″, I’m guessing the box to be what, about 12″ long? By 4″or 5″ wide and about 3″ high? I think it must also have had a sliding lid…Pity there are no blade left! I like that, I may well have a go at carving one…Oak?

    Interesting blog by the way. I visit often.

  3. Indeed, no-one will ever know for sure. The reason why I think it may have been a sliding lid, is that the box looks very much like one I made years ago. 3 sides appears to have the remains of the groooves into which the lid would slide, but the 4th side does not appear to have it.

    ——–/ \———-

    That sort of profile, seen from the end.

    • Let’s see if I can do any better with html, it came through fine in the notification email.

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  4. Pingback: Cotehele House Leather Vessel Gallery « The Reverend's Big Blog of Leather

  5. Pingback: National Museum of Scotland – Leather Gallery « The Reverend's Big Blog of Leather

  6. Pingback: National Museum of Scotland – Bone, Horn and Antler Gallery « The Reverend's Big Blog of Leather

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