Cloth seal from Leiden (Holland)
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    Dec 2012
    Minelab explorer II
    Metal Detecting

    Cloth seal from Leiden (Holland)

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    A cloth seal from the city Leiden (Holland). The cloth seal dates from the second half of the 17th century. Leiden was famous all over Europe for the production of cloth. They exported there cloth all over Europe, but also to the USA, South-America, Indonesia and even Japan. And the front of the cloth seal you see the arms of Leiden (crossed keys, the oldest cloth seals showed one key. The crossed keys can easily be mingled with the flax- and hempseals from Letland and the cloth seals from Bremen (Germany), but you can see some differences between them). At the bag site you see a number, meaning the length of the cloth: 37 el (Delftse el = 68,2 cm (the length differed per part of the country or between cities), there under you see a six, probably meaning the amount of wires used per unit/ over width (6000 wires).

    I know at least one cloth seal from Leiden that was found in the USA, probably you might found also some (please let me know). As metaldetectoramateur I’m doing a research for museum ‘ De Lakenhal’ in Leiden. In the 16th- 18th century the city Leiden was famous all over Europe because of his cloth industry. From Leiden there are a lot of cloth seals known. The museum possessed a lot of stamps which were used to stamp the blank cloth seals, but probably the collection is not complete and they asked me to see if detector amateurs found ‘ new’ types of cloth seals (types which are unknown by the museum). Also we wanted to know where, in which places and countries, cloth seals from Leiden are found. From the literature we know that cloth from Leiden was exported all over Europe, Northern and Southern America, Japan and Indonesia, but this information is less confirmed by detector finds and archeological finds. Based on other finds (like coins and pipes) done at the same spots we also hope to come to a better dating of the cloth seals and the stamps in the museum. And as last but not least we hope to say something about the way whether the seal stamps were combined.

    Museum De Lakenhal: Museum De Lakenhal





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