all shapes and sizes
The Royal Scots
regiment of foot),
made from solid silver
with enamel in the
pierced thistle pattern
in the dome. Stunning!
maces, staffs, or batons come in a variety of shapes, materials
and sizes. Pictured on the left are a few of the current British
regimental maces which I have been honoured to see close up. The
Royal Scots have always had the most amazing maces and the current
one is no exception: all the parts are made from solid silver and
the green, transparent enamel on top of the chased silver is really
is a standard pattern (used by the Guards Division, as well) which
has many pieces added on such as battle honours, regimental badges,
and of course, the Royal Cypher.
contrast, maces such as that of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have
many differences. Note the representation of the captured Napoleonic
Eagle rather than the usual crown.
RAF Halton mace that I use is the same as that of the Royal Scots,
but much less ornate. I do flourish it! (so no excuses...) It is
very heavy, as are all the regimental patterns, as even the chains
are solid silver.
also have a selection of maces which have been used for competition
over the years (right): the mace on the top left is made by
Dalman and Narborough of Birmingham and although I have had
it for around 22 years, it is still good to use and D&N
still make them today. They also make this pattern chased.
The mace top right is another D&N made pattern, also available
chased or plain. The other two were made in Pakistan. They
are copies of those made by Rose Moriss, and supplied by Potters
of Aldershot back in the 70s. They are of a very different
quality to those made by D&N, but of course that is reflected
in the price. They are a good first step in Drum Majoring.
you hope to compete please don't waste money on a Premier
have made a mace for many years which has a fibreglass shaft and
a cast metal head. The head is made from a metal similar to that
used for model car casting. It cracks and even shatters when dropped
on a hard surface. There are no options available to replace the
crown (which is an out of date shape!). The shaft has no give or
flex, so when it hits your hand from a high throw, it really hurts.
try to buy a shaft made from malacca cane. This is a natural product
and has a slight ridge on one side, and a natural taper. If you
visit the D&N factory you can even select your own cane as they
are all different.
seen other shafts made from manilla cane which is very similar.
Aircraft nylon (solid and heavier) is very flexible and may be turned
on a lathe. Metal tubing I saw once and this had a wooden head and
ferrule. I tried to copy it, but the mace was 'lifeless'.
can look just as good as chains but make sure you don't get thick
ones laden with tassels. These slow the mace down as it turns (drag
factor). Thin leather thonging (like boot laces) works very well
wrapped around the mace in the 'Northern Irish' style. This gives
a bit of extra grip too.
answer is the size that suits you! Ideally this should come up to
between your shoulder and chin (at maximum). For most adults this
means 60 inches. Just make sure that anything bought for a juvenile
is not too long (hoping that they will grow into it) and anything
bought for an adult doesn't look rediculously short. I have one
mace (an antique, possibly Royal Marines) which is 162cm high!
collapsible mace does exist! A friend of mine in Yorkshire actually
ordered and bought one from Pakistan. It is not in their current
catalogue. His was the standard Pakistan pattern, with a malacca
cane shaft. It was jointed with a screw thread fitting as found
on a pool/snooker cue. Malacca cane is solid in its core, but fibrous
or pithy. Great care must be taken when cutting it so as not to
weaken it. The mace finally broke at the joint when dropped, once
too often. I use a different company in Pakistan for ordering maces
for juveniles/learners, and although useful, would not recommend
a collapsible mace.
the last 20+ years I have been carrying my maces around in a home
made carrier. I initially had a fishing rod case which was too big
and cumbersome. The home made carrier consisted of PVC waste pipe
capped with an aerosol cap at the bottom. This was then covered
in a stitched leatherette (for toughness) bag with a large soft
top. A knitted woollen top like a sock was placed over the head
before sliding in the tube/carrier. An old kilt sock will do the
job, doubled over! For extra protection whilst flying take the head
off and place in your suitcase wrapped in bubble wrap.
a standard pattern
Army mace used by
with battle honours
Dragoon Guards (the
Greys), a modern
version, with the
badges and battle
'regimental' mace has the same type of case but with a wooden box around
the head with a hinged lid. Some of the regimental maces are carted around
in what can only be described as an oversize, wooden, pipe box, very big,
heavy and cumbersome.
you can't be bothered with all this, order yourself a nice carrier from
Dalman & Narborough.
They make a professional version of what I just described (not to mention
the world's best quality maces, sporran cantles, plaid brooches, buckles,
etc.). Contact Alan Baldwin of Dalman & Narborough Ltd. on (+44) 121
772 2008. Fax: (+44) 121 771 4182.
World's heaviest mace?
to DM Mick Hay of the Royal Scots for the use of this fantastic
piece of history.
was priveleged, whilst on the Army School of Bagpipe Music Drum
Majors' Course, to be allowed to use one of the Royal Scots' maces.
This one was the standard army pattern, however it had the stoutest
cane I have ever seen. All the parts of a standard army mace are
made of brass. This makes for the heaviest weight possible as none
of it is very thin. Notice that every single, silver battle honour
is fastened by two brass nuts, not to mention the badges too. The
crown is likewise made from brass. Just look at the size of the
bolt, the strengthening rib and retaining nut. The casting for the
acanthus decoration is the crispest I think I have ever seen, and
was also brass, but with a higher copper content. There was even
a joint cover for the top of the shaft... shaped to fit the natural
rdge of the cane. This is all incredibly difficult to keep clean!
So the next time you complain about the weight of your own mace,
think about trying to use this for a length of time and flourish
budget custom mace
Some of you know that Kevin MacHeffner talked to a firm in Pakistan about
making a custom mace with a badged head and scrolls. He wanted something
more "regimental" with the Mesa Caledonian crest and chains
for the No.1 engagements but also something that was inexpensive - a mace
bother him if he banged the ferrule with his sword on the march, etc.
See the photo (below) of the mace head which looks EXACTLY like his drawing.
Here's his review:
system of 1-5 stars
unassembled in three pieces (head, cane and ferrule). They also supplied
the brad that would hold the head to the cane and the chains which were
mounted to the collar on the cane.
Mace head - 5 stars
Exactly what I wanted! The band cap badge (which this firm has produced
ours since 1999) was shaped properly to the curve of the head and mounted
through the mace head with threaded posts and nuts (like a military
buckle with a badge). The two metal scrolls are gilt plated and spelled
properly (top says "Mesa Caledonian", bottom says "Est.
1980"). These are affixed to the head in the same manner and look
very sturdy. The coronet at the bottom of the head is soldered to the
mace head and doesn't appear to be coming off soon. That's a good thing!
:) The queen's crown is also in really good shape. The plating on both
the chrome head and gilt pieces seem to be fairly strong so I'm pleased
Cane - 3.5 stars
The cane is not very flexible but it has a nice finish without a lot
of scars or scuffs. It's straight, has a nice ridge and they nailed
the requested length of the mace exactly (58" overall).
Ferrule - 3 stars
It also arrived straight and had the necessary rings to install the
chain. However! The plating job on this piece totally sucks! When it
arrived, it had some spots that I couldn't tell if they were dirt spots
or bubbling in the chrome. I should have more skeptical and careful
during assembly. The ferrule was a bit difficult to assemble to the
cane and I had to be forceful with it. Okay, I had to get medieval with
a rubber mallet. During this portion of assembly, the spots were actually
bubbles and the plating peeled away in several spots under the force.
Yuck (replace the y with an f for an accurate reenactment of my statement
at the time). Not to worry though! There's a metallurgist in our engineering
facility who can replate the ferrule.
Assembly - 4 stars
Other than the ferrule incident, the rest of it was fairly easy to assemble.
I wrapped the brad in teflon tape before mounting the mace head to make
sure it was a sturdy fit through the pre-drilled holes in the cane.
The head fits flush and level and the chains were a piece of cake. I
had to move the collar on the cane a little higher to make sure the
chains were tight and not crooked.
Price - 5 stars!!!!!
For $149, not a typo, I got a great deal. The mace head was the real
focus for this one and the work performed there is worth much more than
the total price. Add in $.98 for a pack of spare brads and a case of
Diet Mountain Dew (3 for $9 at Fry's) that I drank during assembly in
the middle of the night.
I found it to be a good deal for a fancy mace. Would I do it again?
Yes. Will I do it again? Yes... but the next project is only another
mace head since the head post is threaded and interchangeable.
Mac Heffner, Mesa Caledonian, Arizona.