Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

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Characterisation and conservation of textiles found in the shipwreck BZN17

In the summer of 2014, a large number of textiles was found in a seventeenth century shipwreck near Texel. The goods were collected by sports divers and handed over to the local museum and subsequently to the province of North Holland. The wealth of the collection was striking, such a textile collection was never discovered before from a maritime context, the objects were untouched for almost 400 years.

Research has been started with two main aims:

  • To conserve and preserve the collection in the best possible way.
  • To characterise the textiles in detail to obtain information about the function, origin and dating of the objects.

Within the project a full characterisation of the textile object is foreseen, patterns will be taken and materials (textile, dyes, metal yarns) used will be investigated. The effect of oxygen on the preservation will be examined. The outcome should provide guidelines to exhibition conditions and form the basis of historical research toward this unique collection. In addition to the textile objects, it is good to realise that about 1.000 other objects were found which are currently being examined by Arent Vos (RCE/Batavialand). Additional research on these objects is foreseen as well.


Purse decorated with silver thread (Photo: Museum Kaap Skil).

Project Leader

  • Maarten van Bommel (University of Amsterdam


Research team

  • Ana Serrano (postdoc researcher phase 1)
  • René Lugtigheid
  • Emmy de Groot
  • Bianca du Mortier
  • Suzan Meijer
  • Luc Megens
  • Ineke Joosten
  • Agnes Brokerhof
  • Bart Ankersmit
  • Jenny Tiramani
  • Melanie Braun
  • Claire Thornton
  • Maurice Aalders
  • Leah Wilk
  • Mitra Almasian

Institutions involved

  • University of Amsterdam
  • Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands
  • Rijksmuseum
  • School of Historical Dress
  • Province of Noord-Holland
  • Museum Kaap Skil
  • Amsterdam Medical Centre

Expected completion date

December 2018 – end of phase 1.

Partially funded by the Province of Noord-Holland.

Logo Provincie NH

Published by  NICAS

14 November 2017