I recently found a well-preserved Spanish cavalry saber and scabbard, which I have seen variously described as a 1907 pattern or 1917 pattern. The scabbard is marked “Toledo,” and I’ve wanted a blade from the city that armored the conquistadors since I was a kid. Overlooking my postcolonial fetishism, this was an interesting time in Spain’s history…of course the sword has seen service, and because every weapon to hand was used in the Spanish Revolution, I imagine this was too.
Displaying a sword is tricky: I didn’t want the bracketed katana and sheath you see in lads’ bedrooms and Hollywood corner offices. That’s usually the sword ensemble we see in my generation. This had to be understated, use upcycled materials, and practically vanish around the hardware and against the wall. It fit best beside the couch, below the staircase, in a disused space too oddly-angled to display anything else.
After some fiddling, I fabbed a mount using elements-rusted steel stock stick-welded together (so as not to disturb the rust patina) with a “modular podular” unit at the base to adjust height and assemble under the couch. The m-p unit uses the tension of two welded-on galvanized steel rods (salvaged from a rolldown security grate) forced into holes in the base to adjust the angle of the totality. The base assembly can also be put together under the couch, and then the stand-rod seated in a socket in the base.
Neodymium button-magnets hold the sword and scabbard in place, yet allow them to be removed easily for inspection. As the photos show, the details of the work are such that no one display angle can feature them all.