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Centuries-old leather discovered on shipwreck

Divers have only recently found the hides.

Image © Peter Southwood

Tanned bovine hides – thought to date from the 17th century – have been discovered on a shipwreck in the Wadden Sea, north of the Netherlands. The wreck is likely to be that of a Dutch East India Company vessel and, while divers have been investigating the ship for a number of years, they have only recently found the hides. As the leather has been constantly submerged under water it has not dried out and is said to still be in a very good condition, exhibiting a dark brown colouring. The hides are now with the Dutch leather chemical producer Smit & Zoon, where they will be put on display as an example of the materials longevity.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 3 of the February 2017 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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