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My modest collection of antiquities, one of which unearthed by me.

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The collection of antiquities of @DonnaML and others inspired me to photograph my very modest collection. 

A very local find: a 'Lakenlood' from Leiden, found in Leiden

The first one is a so called 'lakenlood', literally translated as cloth lead, made and found in the Dutch city Leiden. In the 16th and 17th century, Leiden was famous for its textile industry. Thousands of textile workers from the Southern Netherlands, England, Germany and France, who had had to leave their countries on political or religious grounds, found employment in Leiden and contributed to its success.

In the seventeenth century, Leiden cloth found its way onto the world market through Amsterdam. In the same way, raw materials such as wool, cotton, silk and colorants arrived in Leiden from South Europe, Asia and North and South America. Thousands of men, women and children manufactured the famous Leiden cloth in a home industry system. In order to guarantee the quality, the city's administration founded seven inspection halls for various types of fabric. The Laecken-Halle (Cloth Hall) that was founded in 1641, was the most significant hall.

To guarantee the quality, the exported cloth was tested in the Laecken-Halle, a richly decorated building, showcasing the success of the textile industry in Leiden. The building has been converted to the city museum (Leiden, the city with one of the oldest universities of Europe, by the way, has a relatively large number of museums: the 'rijksmuseum van oudheden' (national museum of antiquities), with an impressive Egyptian collection, 'Naturalis' (natural history), 'Boerhave museum' (a museum on the history of science, named after Hermanus Boerhave, the founding father of modern medicine), the 'Siebold huis' (a museum on the relations between the Netherlands and Japan), the 'volkenkundig museum' (National Museum of Ethnology), and the 'anatomisch museum', a local collection of the Faculty of Medicine, which is not open to public (but, as an alumnus on that faculty, I had the privilege to visit it multiple times). Earlier, Leiden also housed the national coin collection, but unfortunately, that collection is now stored safely away in a vault somewhere. 

The 'Museum de Lakenhal' houses an impressive collection of Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt, Lucas van Leyden, Gerrit Dou, Jan Steen, and others. It has recently been renovated and expanded. It's well worth a visit. 

Museum De Lakenhal | Museum/nl\

The quality of the textile, ready for export,  was guaranteed with the Lakenlood, usually giving some information on where the cloth was produced (other Dutch cities followed the success of Leiden), the quality, and sometimes the year or date. It was also in Leiden where I found this lakenlood:image.jpeg.7db63b8ab4a4c86b6742b8448af3cbf7.jpeg

Lead 'lakenlood' ('cloth lead'), one side showing a decorated shield with the text "DOUBLE STAEL GEBLAUT". Near the "L" of "STAEL", there is a small numeric 10. The other side blank. Diameter: 60 mm, weight: 58.74g. Registration in the Dutch PAN system pending. Found in 2014, in Leiden, near the banks of the river 'de Mare'. 

On the reverse, you can actually see the imprint of the texture in the lead: 


Interestingly, when I visited the Museum back in 2015/16, I found the actual stamp that had been used to make this cloth lead. It has been photographed recently: 


As for the text, I'm still unsure what "DOUBEL STAEL GEBLAUT" means. It has also been used on leads from other cities, and probably has to do with the quality of the textile. Perhaps someone here knows enough about the cloth industry to make an educated guess. Meanwhile, even though I've moved away from Leiden (though not very far away), I'm very happy with this 'Leideny' piece of history!


Edited by Roerbakmix
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A Roman Scalpellus (scalpel)

This part of what once was a Roman scalpel was gifted to me by a metal detectorist living in Limburg, the most Southern province of the Netherlands with a rich Roman history. I'm a moderator on a metal detectoring forum (www.bodemvondstenwereld.nl), where I moderate the section on sceattas. I bought a large number of Celtic coins from him, and somewhere, I must have told him that I'm a medical doctor, because he sent me this cool find of him. 


Roman scalpel (scalpellus). Bronze, with silver inlays. Iron remains of the blade, clasped in the bronze handle. Weight 21.94g, dimensions 45.6 x 11.4 x 8.2 mm. 

It's very similar to this Roman Scalpel, found in Ficarolo (Italy), showing similar silver inlays: 


Intact, the scalpel might have looked like this (second one):


A fresco in Pompeii, showing the use of the scalpel (this scalpel? Who knows!)


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