An unknow medieval lantern from Hälsingland

An unknown lantern from Järvsö in Hälsingland, Sweden.

In the Hälsinglandsmuseum collection there is a lantern in metal, HM5109. This lantern appeared in a search at DigtialtMuseum site, when Maria was looking for lanterns in October. It was not dated, but there was something about the shape that screamed “medieval” at her. The text “Help Maria Son” indicated that this had been produced before the Reformation. Our King Gustav Vasa split with the pope in 1524, and in 1527 the Riksdag in Västerås declared Protestantism and Catholicism as equivalent doctrines. 
 
Maria contacted the museum and they kindly sent some information to us. They had documents that indicated the lantern had a medieval dating. This made us excited and we booked a visit to the museum in order to look at this rarity. So, in the super cold of December we took the train to Hudiksvall to have a look at it.

The lantern is made of copper plate, possibly an alloy. The top is rounded and has a 25 small ventilation holes to release heat. The door is probably replaced as it does not follow the design or the material of the lantern. The door is made of iron and has an window opening. The door has metal strips riveted on the inside, sides and bottom. That creates a frame that allows a curved horn plate to be slid down and serve as a window. The door has remnants of an organic material at the bottom of the frame. Most likely, this is the remains of a horn plate. All rivets on the door are of iron. The hinges are of the same material as the rest of the lantern. The door also has a hasp for closing.

In the middle of the bottom of the lantern there is a hole, where the candle holder, the hollow, has probably been placed. However, it’s gone. The back of the lantern has nine holes where probably a handle has been attached. The two top holes still have rivets. The handle is missing.
 
The back of the lantern is richly decorated. In the middle of the back there is a foliage surrounded by a border. On the sides acanthus borders and text above and below. The top reads HELP MA, and the bottom RIA SON.
 
The lantern measures 23.5cm in height and 9,5 cm in diameter. The top is approx. 4-4.5 cm high. The door opening measures approx. 5.5-6 cm in width and the door is approx. 18-18.5cm high.
 
Dating. The lantern is interpreted, by Henrik Cornell, as a Swedish work from the end of the 15th century. We agree with the dating. Hand-held lanterns are quite often depicted in art and these seem to be common from the middle of the 15th century.

There are several pictures of lanterns of this design depicted in medieval art. We have chosen a small selection for illustration. We have not relied too much about the date of these pictures, but they all date to the latter part of the 15th century.

The lantern from Järvsö shows great similarities with the lantern from Källby, which today is to be found in the collections at Kulturen in Lund, Sweden. The model is quite similar, the decorations, the material and the separate top. This lantern is also interpreted as a Swedish work from the late 15th century.

We are, of course, incredibly happy that the medieval lantern has been rediscovered. And we are very happy that we have been involved in finding a somewhat forgotten medieval object.
/ Amica and Maria 
Pictures of the lantern: Historical textiles. CC-BY

A printed chasuble from Husaby church, Sweden

We would like to wish you all a happy weekend with a very rare object.
A block printed chasuble in linen from Husaby church, Västergötland, Sweden. Dated early 15th century.
The chasuble is in a remarkable condition considering it’s age. And it has kept it original medieval shape and have not been remade in any matter.

The chasuble consists of six different pieces sewn together and then printed on top of seams and everything. The fabric is woven in two shaft/ plain weave, and is a fairly even weave with high class spun threads. No lumps on the threads!

Originally it was printed with black paint, but it also show signs of being painted with a red, yellow and green paint on some places. The green paint have eaten the fabric and today the fabric is broken where it was painted.

The pattern bring to mind 14th century Italian silk weaves and it’s very easy to understand where the inspiration came from.

The print believes to be either Swedish or German. The print size is 44 x 15 cm.

Today the chasuble is to be found in the collections of The Swedish History Museum.

/ Amica and Maria

Photos by Historical Textiles and Historiska
Please use CC-BY if reposting.

A glove from Kalmar

We would like to wish you all a happy weekend with a glove from medieval Kalmar, Sweden. It was found in Slottfjärden, the castle bay, during the cleaning of the bay in 1932-34.

The glove is made in nålbinding/ needlebinding technique. The yarn is wool and might be mixed with some fibres from cow or/ and goat. We can’t tell what stitch that have been used. And we are more then happy to take new close up photos if anyone might have a good eye for analyzing stitches.

The yarn is two plyed. The dating of the glove is “medieval”- possibly 13th- late 15th century. 

Today the glove is in the collections of Historiska museet in Stockholm.

Sorry for posting an old photo from the database, but we have misplaced our photos of the glove. We will add them when we find em again.

/ Amica and Maria

Advent calendar December 24th 2018

Today we in Sweden celebrates Christmas.
Our twenty fourth advent calendar post is a silk and gold thread embroidery. It’s made in the studio connected to the famous painter Albertus Pictor. Aka Albert Pärlstickare  ( bead/ pearl embroider).

The embroidery is a back shield and was originally attached to a cope from Maria church, Sigtuna, Sweden.

The shield is dated to mid- late 15th century.

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.

God jul!
/Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 22th 2018

Our twenty-second advent calendar post is a detail from a gilded leather coverlet from Dalhem church, Småland, Sweden. This one is called Dalhem 2 since the church have got not only one but two coverlets connected to the church.

We would like you to look at the fabrics. The hard spun warp on the red fabric ( shows horizontal on the picture) and the thicker weft. And on the white fabric, that has got a z- spun warp and s-spun weft- giving a very dense look of the fabric. It gives sometimes a visual look of knitting when seen from the diagonal.

They piece is dated to late 15th early 16th century. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles 

Dalhem 2

Advent calendar December 20th 2018

Our twentieth advent calendar post is a small fragment of linen. Also today we show a quite unusual piece. It is a dark red linen fabric from Italy.
The fragment have got a small seam but we can’t say what it use to be. We know from sources that dyed linen did occur during the late medieval period in Italy. But it’s not the dye that we want you to focus on today.

We would like you to look at the seam. Check out the tiny back stitches. The scale above show millimeters. The stitches are less than 1 mm each.

They fragment is dated to late 15th early 16th century. 

Now part of the secret Italian collection.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles 

Tiny stitches

Advent calendar December 19th 2018

Our nineteenth advent calendar post is a small fragment of a wool fabric item. The fabric is something quite unusual. The warp and the weft have very different colours, warp lighter and weft darker. This is not something common, at all. The fabric have gone brown after years in the ground, but even before it must have been a clear visual difference of the warp and the weft. It’s woven in 2/2 twill. The fragment also have some seams. It was clearly sewn into something before it ended up in the ground in the city of Enköping, Västmanland, Sweden. 

They fragment is dated to 13-15th century. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles 

Advent calendar December 16th 2018

Our sixteenth advent calendar post is a selection of spindle whorls. They all comes from various archeological excavations from different Swedish cities. The whorls are made out of clay, lead, and bone. 

The whorls have different shapes and weighs differently. 

They whorls are dated 13-16th century. 

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles

Advent calendar December 15th 2018

Our fifteen advent calendar post is, once agin not a textile but a textile tool, a rigid heddle is from Västkinde, Gotland, Sweden. It’s made out of elk horn.

It is decorated on both sides. The size is H. 4,7 cm , W. 4,5 cm.

The rigid heddle is dated to 1350- 1490 AD.

Now in collections of Historiska museet, Sweden.
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles