Gladius Chape

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Roman Gladius chape pompeii

Material  Silvered Bronze/ Copper Alloy
Dimensions  10cm long x 5.4cm wide

Top band is 1mm thick

Back band is 0.44mm thick

Side sections are .49mm thick

Side decoration is 1mm thick

End Knob is 14mm in diameter

Roman Empire  Late 1st to 2nd Century AD

A Bronze silvered Chape for the Pompeii type Gladius short sword. The end attachment clamping the wooden pieces of the scabbard together at the point of the scabbard.

Remnants of a lined edging strip still remains riveted along the length, bottom left side.  This would have extended the length of the chape and added further decoration.  A curved piece with a center groove still forms the top of the chape.  A distinctly Roman rounded knob/finial completes the point.  This finial was cast when it was made in comparison to the remainder of the thin sheet bronze. 

The item most likely at one time had some further intricate designs throughout the middle in the shape of floral or military motives, unfortunately time has erased them.

As the actual example picture below shows, these chapes were commonly adorned with a palmette type pattern near the top. 

See original Palmette example HERE


-painting by John Warry


Click on Pictures for higher resolution

Decoration rivet View


Top cross bar rivet




      Reproduction example

Close up View of Gutteman collection Pompeii chape

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(1) References to similar items: FEUGERE, Michel; Weapons of the Romans, page 114 2002.

(2) References to similar items: COWAN, Ross; Roman Legionary 58 BC- 69 AD, page 28-29 2003.

(3) References to similar items: CONNOLLY, Peter; Greece and Rome at War, page 232 1998.

**Note on background. Close up view of the wall of the Colosseum of Pula, Croatia. Picture taken 2014