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  1. #21
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCMatt View Post
    Maybe cheese. I don't think butter got really popular until the 19th century. Before that they made cheese because it would keep better.
    Were these found at house sites?
    DCMatt
    Hi DCMatt. I found some things at Wikipedia about butter, I have extracted some of the text:
    Butter was a commodity way back in 1500–1200 BC, then it was called Ghee. But the earliest butter would have been from sheep or goat's milk. In the Mediterranean climate, unclarified butter spoils quickly— unlike cheese, it is not a practical method of preserving the nutrients of milk. The ancient Greeks and Romans seemed to have considered butter a food fit more for the northern barbarians.

    The cooler climates of northern Europe allowed butter to be stored for a longer period before it spoiled. Scandinavia has the oldest tradition in Europe of butter export trade, dating at least to the 12th century.
    After the fall of Rome and through much of the Middle Ages, butter was a common food across most of Europe, but one with a low reputation, and was consumed principally by peasants.

    Butter slowly became more accepted by the upper class, notably when the early 16th century Roman Catholic Church allowed its consumption during Lent.
    Bread and butter became common fare among the middle class, and the English, in particular, gained a reputation for their liberal use of melted butter as a sauce with meat and vegetables.

    So, reading this it is possible. Although some people have called this artifact from the 16th century, it can also best be from the 17th; because at that time Holland was at its peak, a world power, very rich and many things were made from pewter.

    About a house site, yes that is fully possible, and I think true. This photo was taken at the dig, and you can see the house tiles on the ground.
    On the site of 'Old Enkhuizen' (see page 1) Oud Enkhuizen , which is only in Dutch, this item was found in week 6. In that week the archological service was busy with digging out the remains of buildings and houses on a street called the Vijzelstraat.

    A translation of the location:
    "The area around the Vijzelstraat was traditionally a peripheral zone of the city where the poorer people lived. It is no coincidence that in this part of town almost all the buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries have been removed. (badly built buildings)."

    By the way everyone, the one object labeled Govert, that is not the place where it was found, but the finders 'name or alias'. Have asked where it was found but no answer yet.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2011-08-28 Vijzelstraat.jpg 
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    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

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  3. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by woody50 View Post
    Very surprized at your answer Cru, really not a clue?
    bookmark
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT, YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' - me 25/06/08
    How do you find Gold coins? Reply: 'By finding lots of Silver ones..'
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground.' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
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  4. #23
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodgerdodger View Post
    Now I think they are some type of pendants like this.
    File:Pendant Camiros Louvre Bj2169-9.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I am guessing that you are talking only about the figure/or the figure's head in the pendant? (the rest does not look anything like this artifact).
    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

  5. #24
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUSADER View Post
    bookmark
    What an esoteric answer!
    Oh, now I see, the icon was 'don't know'.
    Just did not know what the bookmark was for.
    Last edited by woody50; Jun 01, 2012 at 05:24 AM.
    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

  6. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by woody50 View Post
    What an esoteric answer!
    Oh, now I see, the icon was 'don't know'.
    Just did not know what the bookmark was for.
    No, I think the flat piece was placed in a closed book & the decor bit stuck out. Its a guess.
    TOO BUSY TO DETECT, YOU'RE TOO BUSY!!!

    'No good comes from thinking about how much time we waste detecting, as wasted time is good soul time' - me 25/06/08
    How do you find Gold coins? Reply: 'By finding lots of Silver ones..'
    A real man thinks about detecting every 6 seconds.
    'They look over their shoulder, I look to the ground.' 30/09/12
    We can not understand ourselves unless we understand our HISTORY.
    PMA:Positive MetalDetecting Attitude.

  7. #26
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
    Minelab EX II & Musketeer, White's Classic
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody50 View Post
    Hi DCMatt. I found some things at Wikipedia about butter, I have extracted some of the text:
    Butter was a commodity way back in 1500–1200 BC, then it was called Ghee. But the earliest butter would have been from sheep or goat's milk. In the Mediterranean climate, unclarified butter spoils quickly— unlike cheese, it is not a practical method of preserving the nutrients of milk. The ancient Greeks and Romans seemed to have considered butter a food fit more for the northern barbarians.

    The cooler climates of northern Europe allowed butter to be stored for a longer period before it spoiled. Scandinavia has the oldest tradition in Europe of butter export trade, dating at least to the 12th century.
    After the fall of Rome and through much of the Middle Ages, butter was a common food across most of Europe, but one with a low reputation, and was consumed principally by peasants.

    Butter slowly became more accepted by the upper class, notably when the early 16th century Roman Catholic Church allowed its consumption during Lent.
    Bread and butter became common fare among the middle class, and the English, in particular, gained a reputation for their liberal use of melted butter as a sauce with meat and vegetables.

    So, reading this it is possible. Although some people have called this artifact from the 16th century, it can also best be from the 17th; because at that time Holland was at its peak, a world power, very rich and many things were made from pewter.

    About a house site, yes that is fully possible, and I think true. This photo was taken at the dig, and you can see the house tiles on the ground.
    On the site of 'Old Enkhuizen' (see page 1) Oud Enkhuizen , which is only in Dutch, this item was found in week 6. In that week the archological service was busy with digging out the remains of buildings and houses on a street called the Vijzelstraat.

    A translation of the location:
    "The area around the Vijzelstraat was traditionally a peripheral zone of the city where the poorer people lived. It is no coincidence that in this part of town almost all the buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries have been removed. (badly built buildings)."

    By the way everyone, the one object labeled Govert, that is not the place where it was found, but the finders 'name or alias'. Have asked where it was found but no answer yet.
    OK. Point taken. There was butter.

    But I still don't think these items are tableware. Look at other examples of flatware from the period. Few have open-work on the handle and those that do are made from silver.

    I believe these are of a much more personal nature. The clue is in the depictions of female faces and bodies and whatever the other bumps and curves represent.

    Still researching.

    DCMatt
    While I have aimed in my postings to be irenic and conciliatory, rather than polemic, I have yet endeavored to set forth the
    truth, let it favor or impugn whom it might. Any notice of misrepresentations or mistakes occurring in these prose will be most thankfully received
    by the author.

  8. #27
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCMatt View Post
    OK. Point taken. There was butter.
    But I still don't think these items are tableware. Look at other examples of flatware from the period. Few have open-work on the handle and those that do are made from silver.
    I believe these are of a much more personal nature. The clue is in the depictions of female faces and bodies and whatever the other bumps and curves represent.
    Still researching.
    DCMatt
    Hi DCMatt, well really I don't either. There have been many guesses as to what they could be, but the answer has (I think) not been found. I did like the butter thing, just like some of the others, but still....
    I myself don't put much thought into the 'female faces and bodies', if I count the number of finds that we know about (6x , one not shown) only two have figures shown on them. But keep an open mind.
    Thanks for researching, I am also busy, but still have not (yet) seen anything like it outside of Holland.
    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

  9. #28
    Charter Member
    us
    Aug 2007
    Mn.
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    Palette knife is a blunt tool used for mixing or applying paint.

  10. #29
    us
    One man gathers what another man spills

    Jul 2011
    Southern Delaware
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    I showed the pic to my wife's great-great aunt, who is 90 yrs old. She is quite worldly, traveled everywhere and is highly versed in antiques. She told me it is a pate knife and that her mother had one with a very ornate, sterling handle. I looked them up and some of the older blades are identical in shape to the one pictured.
    Last edited by littlebill31; Jun 07, 2012 at 05:44 AM.
    Card carrying member of the NSSAR

  11. #30
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebill31 View Post
    I showed the pic to my wife's great-great aunt, who is 90 yrs old. She is quite worldly, traveled everywhere and is highly versed in antiques. She told me it is a pate knife and that her mother had one with a very ornate, sterling handle. I looked them up and some of the older blades are identical in shape to the one pictured.
    It coul be a pate knife. I looked at those as well. The blade has a similar shape but I found few examples with openwork handles and none of them were pewter.

    To my eye this item is distinctly feminine. 5 of the 6 examples have either a female face or a female figure on them. The 6th may have had a female face as well but it is broken at that point.

    I still think this piece is for costmetics, health, or hygiene, but there is little documentation of such activities from back then. At least very little on line...

    DCMatt

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	16thCfemaleknife.jpg 
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ID:	643492
    While I have aimed in my postings to be irenic and conciliatory, rather than polemic, I have yet endeavored to set forth the
    truth, let it favor or impugn whom it might. Any notice of misrepresentations or mistakes occurring in these prose will be most thankfully received
    by the author.

  12. #31
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Watch the place for a possible answer tomorrow! (not from me)
    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

  13. #32
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
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    16th Century Birth Control Device

    Let me start by saying I REALLY enjoyed researching this relic.

    One thing I’ve learned over the years from researching old objects is that people back then were very practical. They did things and made things purposefully. These pieces are no exception. Based on the images on the various handles, I see the items as specifically feminine. But why? What kind 16th century item would need to be so gender specific? As I took a closer look at the images, I began to recognize the subject matter. When this notion first occurred to me, even I was skeptical. But there it was and it left little doubt in my mind. Hopefully I can make a convincing argument to all of you by pointing out certain characteristics of the relics.

    There are 3 examples of this style.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The image is of a woman with enlarged breasts and a round belly but the arms and legs are not fat. Without giving much information to influence commentary, I showed the image to two woman (both had kids). Both immediately said “pregnant”. That’s what I thought too, but I wanted a woman’s perspective.

    There are two examples of this type.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see a woman’s face and below it is the face of a lion or a cat. Look closely and you can see the teeth. Now I have to try to keep a PG rating on this post so I’ll just say the “cat” represents what Western culture, in most any language, euphemistically calls “that part” of a woman. Keep in mind that these items would have been designed and made by men.

    The third example takes a little less imagination to figure out.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You see the “flower” with something sticking into it. It could be the “knife”? You can see the handles on each side.
    Name:  knifeimage.jpg
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    Also of note is the length and bluntness of the “blade” The object is relatively small with a wide, flat, openwork handle – easy for a woman to hold and manipulate with one hand.

    So…How does all of this come together?

    After doing a fair amount of research on the subject, I believe this item is an early birth control device. It would have been used by a woman to remove semen or a pessary (or both) from her vagina after intercourse.

    Strange you say? Believe me, not NEARLY as strange as some of the other birth control efforts I read about. YIKES! God bless the souls of those women for what they did to themselves in the name of family.

    I did a LOT of reading and went through quite a thought process to come to this conclusion. I can’t even begin to put all of it into this post. (Most of you wouldn’t read it anyway…) But if you keep an open mind and accept my description of the images on the handles, it makes sense.

    Of course I haven’t found any written documentation to support my theory. Given language constraints (I only read English) and simple fact that people just didn’t write about such things, I probably never will.

    Comments, clarifications, and contradictions are always welcome.

    DCMatt
    While I have aimed in my postings to be irenic and conciliatory, rather than polemic, I have yet endeavored to set forth the
    truth, let it favor or impugn whom it might. Any notice of misrepresentations or mistakes occurring in these prose will be most thankfully received
    by the author.

  14. #33
    us
    Sep 2007
    Reno, NV
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody50 View Post
    The metal is tin or tin lead; would you put that on your tongue? Thought not. Something like that has always been wood.
    Thanks anyway
    Keep in mind back in the 1800's and earlier people did not know that lead was harmful. That's why it was used in things like house paint for decades. It does not look like lead to me, also I don't think a doctor would ever buy a tongue depressor that ornate. looks like a butter knife to me.
    Give Northern Nevada Coin a call for any questions regarding US coins and ask for "Joe" at (775)-828-2646 or check out our website at http://www.brokencc.com

  15. #34
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carson Coin Master View Post
    Keep in mind back in the 1800's and earlier people did not know that lead was harmful. That's why it was used in things like house paint for decades. It does not look like lead to me, also I don't think a doctor would ever buy a tongue depressor that ornate. looks like a butter knife to me.
    I agree with you Carson, its pewter that we are talking about I am pretty sure. And pewter used for this sort of object contained only 4% lead, which was later replaced with antimony. Lead and antimony made the tin hard (normally too soft to use for these objects).
    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

  16. #35
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCMatt View Post
    Let me start by saying I REALLY enjoyed researching this relic.
    DCMatt
    Well Matt, I am very glad that you are or were busy with the research! This is I think the best guess (or determination) that I have seen to date, everything seems to be correct. I hope we will hear from others, and what they think about your determination. I am myself happy with it.

    Good work!
    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

  17. #36
    us
    May 2012
    Northern Indiana
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    So, is it possible it's part of, or the key to, a chastity belt?

  18. #37
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeerStalker View Post
    So, is it possible it's part of, or the key to, a chastity belt?
    Nope. No chastity involved. A woman would take care of her husband's needs then use this as a trowel of sorts to remove the semen from inside her. It is more like the 16th century version of "the morning after" birth control.

    DCMatt
    While I have aimed in my postings to be irenic and conciliatory, rather than polemic, I have yet endeavored to set forth the
    truth, let it favor or impugn whom it might. Any notice of misrepresentations or mistakes occurring in these prose will be most thankfully received
    by the author.

  19. #38
    us
    May 2012
    Northern Indiana
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    You know, sometimes I think it would have been cool to live back then. Then something like this turns up and reminds me how nice it is to be around NOW.

  20. #39
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeerStalker View Post
    You know, sometimes I think it would have been cool to live back then. Then something like this turns up and reminds me how nice it is to be around NOW.
    Amen!
    While I have aimed in my postings to be irenic and conciliatory, rather than polemic, I have yet endeavored to set forth the
    truth, let it favor or impugn whom it might. Any notice of misrepresentations or mistakes occurring in these prose will be most thankfully received
    by the author.

  21. #40
    nl
    Jun 2007
    West Friesland, NL
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeerStalker View Post
    You know, sometimes I think it would have been cool to live back then. Then something like this turns up and reminds me how nice it is to be around NOW.
    Well you know DeerStalker you are right in many ways, back then the king was ruler, if he wanted you dead then you were that. If you were not in the royality you had to scrape for food, and it was pretty dirty back then. Disease and no cures, not even for a headache.

    OK, that was that. Nowadays. Well yes, in some ways better, but in many worse. I don't have to tell you which ones, just think of a horse and buggy trotting along and compare it to a car making a huge amount of noise (which of course is ok, there are many horses in it), or a airplane, or just a party with the amp turned up as high as it will go, and you cannot talk to others.... drugs, changes in lifestyle.......so many more...

    Yea, we were born in the era that we have to accept. Thinking it is better back then or better now is personal I guess. That's life.
    West Friesland, Netherlands, www.wf4.nl

 

 
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