Originally Posted by Victrix
I always wondered why hunting swords come with those curious sea shell ornaments on the side. So you reckon they are rain guards to keep the rain out of the scabbard and avoid corrosion of the blade?
Basically, yes. they were of course a decorative addition as well.
earlier ones i am told had the 'shell' or nagel perpendicular to the blade where it could protect the hand if used in combat, like the re-purposed french hunting/GB naval hanger one of mine below from around 1705, they transitioned to having them tilted further and further forward (see the other later ones also below in sequence, of other members from an earlier post) till they were parallel to the blade, covering the scabbard mouth. many even earlier swords had a leather version, at the blade/grip junction that were 'rain guards' that similarly covered the scabbard mouth, which got lost over time.