© This dress is the centrepiece of the exhibition "Garde Robe". (c) Pieter de Vries
© The book covers contains the coat of arms of King Charles I (1600-1649). (c) Patrick Piersma
© Another recovery from the shipwreck: ceramics from Italy. (c) Patrick Piersma
17th century dress preserved in pristine condition
April 18, 2016
In 2014, members of a diving club on Texel Island in the Netherlands found sunken treasure in a shipwreck off the coast of the island.
The "treasure" was in the form of textiles, ceramics and other relics from the early 17th century. Experts regard the discovery as one of the most important ever recovered in Europe, as textiles are rarely recovered from shipwrecks – and in such pristine condition.
The highlight of the discovery is a silk dress that is complete and possibly made for royalty. Only the colour appears to have suffered the ravages of time. This was because it had been buried in the sand, so it was not exposed to oxygen or been subject to decomposition by bacteria or animals.
This dress is the centrepiece of the exhibition "Garde Robe" at the Kaap Skil Museum on Texel, from now till May 16th.
In addition to the ornate dress, visitors can also view a jacket, stockings and a silk corset sewn with large amounts of gold and silver threads. There are also ceramics from Italy, a gilted silver bowl and leather book covers on display, among other items.
One of the book covers contains the coat of arms of King Charles I (1600-1649) in gold print, leading the museum's curators to speculate that the valuable cargo may have belonged to the English royal family; the House of Stuart.
Visit the Kaap Skill Museum for more information, directions and opening times:http://www.kaapskil.nl/