Advent calendar December 11 2020

When we analyse old textiles we use simple equipment. Phones, a clip on magnifier, glass magnifier, measuring tape, ruler and in special cases we use a USB microscope.
Here you can see the benefits of using a clip on magnifier. It’s a simple thing that you can buy at any IT shop that sells mouses or charger for phones.

This piece is a linen fragment from the so called The time capsule . You can find more finds related to it at our blog.

The linen fragment have got lovely decorations at the edge.
We don’t know what it was before it became a fragment. A part of a veil? A towel? A table cloth?
It you have any suggestions- please write them in the comments!
/ Amica & Maria

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Advent calendar December 10 2020

Today we want to show you some spangles/ sequins and some mini-mini pearls.
It’s a top of a sudarium. The top is silk, metal thread, linen thread, spangles and pearls.
The linen is also embroidered with red and blue silk. The seams are covered with silk ribbons, woven in a rigid heddle.

Dated to 15th century.
Today in the collections of The Swedish History Museum.
/ Amica & Maria
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Advent calendar December 8 2020

Today we give you an old textile and it’s reconstructed younger cousin.
The Dalhem 1 coverlet, gilt leather and intarsia technique. Dated to 15th century.
Today in the collections od The Swedish History museum.

Reconstruction made by many people. Read more about the project here:
/ Amica & Maria
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Advent calendar December 7 2020

We stay in Gent state archives. Today we have have another important document. This one dated 1385. The silk ribbons connected to the seals are all green. Some are loop braided and some a woven round, most likely in a rigid heddle.

/ Amica & Maria
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Advent calendar December 6 2020

Today we take a turn to the State Archive in Gent. It’s a document, with lovely green silk ribbons connected to the document. It’s rare to have exact dating on historical textiles and here we have a document dated to one single day. That is so awesome!!!
3 December 1339

Since we don’t know what the document was about we asked a friend that translated the museum text for us. Here is a summary:

“This “oorkonde” is about an alliance between Vlaanderen (Flanders) en Brabant to secure the trade of wool (I suppose from England) Jacob encouraged other duchess and dukes to do the same. So basically an other act in the 100 year war between France en England. Jacob is murdered and has a statue on the Friday market in Gent. A “oorkonde” is an official document normally with seals on it. They should be at the bottom of the document attached to a ribbon. From 1600 the seals made way for autographs or signatures The “lakennijverheid” is a trade of cloth makers and of huge economical interest in Gent (whole of Flanders really)”

An important document with costly silk. Woven in plain weave. Possibly in a rigid heddle.
/ Amica & Maria
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Advent calendar December 4 2020

Todays post is two painted saints on an antependium.
Paint on a plain weave, linen. Dated to the second half of the 15th century.

The antependium can be found in the collections of The Swedish History Museum.
/ Amica and Maria

If sharing photos: please cred us.

List of books related to plant dyeing

After our latest plant dyeing lecture we got a question of good books related to plant dyeing.

Here are our favorites:

Växtfärgning / Gösta Sandberg & Jan Sisefsky

En farverig verden/ Anne Støvlbæk Kjær & Louise Schelde Jensen

Indigo- en bok om blå textilier/ Gösta Sandberg

Den blå handen- Om Stockholms färgare 1650- 1900/ Eva Bergström

Kulör i träff- Minnesskrift vid invigningen av Färgargården i Norrköping 20 maj 1939

N. Wide 1869- anteckningar från Widegårdens färgeri i Sundsvall- köpes av Sundsvalls hembygdsmuseum

Purpur, koschenill och krapp- en bok om röda textilier/ Gösta Sandberg
1700-tals textil- Anders Bergs samling i Nordiska Museet

En handbok om indigo: färgning och projekt/ Kerstin Neumüller & Douglas Luhanko

Natural Dyes : Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science / Dominique Cardon

The Colourful Past: Origins, Chemistry and Identification of Natural Dyestuffs / Judith H. Hofenk de GraaffWilma G. Th RoelofsMaarten R. van Bommel

The list will be updated!
/ Amica and Maria



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

Advent calendar December 23th 2018

Our twenty-third advent calendar post is a relics purse from Troyes, France. This relics purse is connected to the Comtes de Champagne. The whole surface of the purse is filled with counted embroidery made in filament silk. We don’t know what is underneath the stitches, but we guess at a very evenly woven linen.

We were really surprised bu the size of the purse, it’s quite large. Approx. 20- 25 cm in the bottom of the purse.
It’s in great condition and the small lovely turks head knots around the bottom and the lid are super cute and impressivly even.

This piece is dated to 13th century.

Now in collections of the Troyes Cathedral
/ Amica and Maria
Photo: Historical Textiles 

Advent calendar December 7th 2018

Our seventh advent calendar post is, technically speaking, not a textile any more. But it used to be. In 1361 the bodies of the fallen from The Battle of Wisby was buried outside of the city of Visby on Gotland, Sweden. The med were buried in their armors and clothes as they wore that day, 27th of July 1361. The textiles have after 569 years in the ground  gone missing. But at some places where the textile have been in close contact with the metal from the armors, the textile have become metallized after so long time in contact with the metal.

This piece of amour might give us an indication on where on the body the textile were used. If the textile imprint in placed on the inside of a lamella from a coat of plates, one can assume that the textile have been part of some sort of clothing on that person. Sometimes it’s even possible to tell the weaving technique and even the fiber content. 

The lamella with textile is dated to 27th of July 1361. 

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