Vellum Scabbard, James Sharpnell

Vellum Scabbard, James Sharpnell

Vellum Scabbard (detail 1)
London, England
about 1781
Museum no. M.39.2-1960

A vellum scabbard for a small presentation sword, circa 1781. It is signed by the maker James Sharpnell, London.
The underside of the hilt is inscribed with the words 'Presented to L.Colonel - James Hartley in testimony of his brave & gallant by the honourable East India Company 1779'.

The vellum is worked and stitched over a layer of felted wool. It is likely that it also has a wooden core, although there is insufficient access to confirm this. There is some damage to the felt, visible at the collar end. Areas of structural damage and previous adhesive treatments are also evident. It would have been damaging to remove this adhesive as it is impregnated into the felted wool fibres, therefore some of the more vulnerable tears were secured with an adhesive treatment. The vellum was cleaned.