Old Vellum Document

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by NormW, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. NormW

    NormW Student Of Coinology Supporter

    Here are pictures of an old vellum document that I picked up form an antique dealer. He has no idea what, where and when this is from. I thought I could at least figure out some "W"'s but I have totally struck out. Any one have a clue as to what this is 20190212_142553.jpg 20190212_142557.jpg 20190212_142600.jpg 20190212_142634.jpg 20190212_142643.jpg 20190212_142732.jpg 20190212_142803.jpg 20190212_142808.jpg ?


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  3. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, maybe someone here can help
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Tribunicia Potestas

    That's pretty cool. Nostradamus?
  5. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Looks like something Doug @GDJMSP wrote when he was younger :D
  6. THCoins

    THCoins Well-Known Member

    Looks like old English mixed with Latin. I think your best clue is the name that is visible on one of the fragments: Robert Forbes. There was an Anglican bishop by that name in Scotland in the first half of the 18th century. As i also seem to see the word Edinburgh in one of the top lines that might be a lead ?
  7. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

  8. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    The first page appears to be old English. The opening line appears to be a place and date ("In Edinburge ? this twentie first ? day of Apryle" or something like that). The word "parchment" or "parliament" (not sure which) is used several times. There is a date in the last two lines - I can make out the words "One Thousand" in the year. From my experience reading and transcribing old English wills for genealogical purposes, the handwriting style looks like 15th-16th century. @jamesicus is who you need to look at this. His calligraphy background might help. I think some of the other pages may be in Latin.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  9. Bayern

    Bayern Active Member

    At least some of it is in Latin~ “In Dei Nomine”- In the name of God. “Ego Vero” - I seek truth, are the only phrases I can make out.
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  10. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Nice acquisition @NormW.

    I used to encounter documents like this occasionally at coin shows (but more likely in Antique shops) years ago - but not often in recent years.

    Prior to modern times, Vellum (meticulously and painstakingly prepared calf or goat skin) was used to hand write (pen and ink) official documents such as deeds, wills, apprenticeship indentures, writs …………… and legal documents of all kinds, due to its wearability and survivability.

    Eventually all but especially important documents were rendered on paper using typewriters - when necessary, old Vellum documents were frequently copied this way - storage was much easier and took up far less space - and large quantities of the old Vellum documents were discarded in various ways. Many ended up as collectible Antiquities - just like yours.

    I retained a few myself as nice collectibles, but my own usage was (and still is on occasion) for making Palimpsests - scraping off existing writing and resurfacing the Vellum and then reusing it (Vellum is very expensive these days) for especially important calligraphic renditions.

    This whole fascinating subject was discussed in great detail in the following Coin Talk thread:


    Edit - that link is to just one post - you will have to scroll the posts to find specific Vellum references.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  11. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Not in French, that’s for sure
  12. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Here is snippet from one of my posts in that thread:

    An example (scrap portion) of an old document that I made into a palimpsest:

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  13. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

  14. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    It would be very helpful if when you post pics of it, they are not oriented sideways. Reading the old language is not truly difficult in all cases, but it makes it so when the orientation is off. I might could help you (sometimes I do read some of this type of old writing.... not always as well as others, but ....) but not if I have to manipulate images to get there....
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  15. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Following is a snapshot of an old Vellum document that I just dug out of my Scriptorium document box …………… this is the kind of old document (of no particular historical significance) that I often prepare/repurpose as a Palimpsest:

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  16. Bayern

    Bayern Active Member

    Of course you never know, one of these could hold the key to decoding a mystery :cat:
  17. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    It's English, called an indenture, al legal document. The vast majority of them relate to the renting of property. Yours is written primarily in Latin which places it (along with the style and handwriting) early 17th Century. Most likely you will be able to puzzle out the names and locations.
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  18. ewomack

    ewomack Senior Member Supporter

    Yes, that's a very cool Latin document, though I had to turn my head ninety degrees to read it. :D

    Thank you for sharing!
  19. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Here is an enlargement of the lead-off segment of the document I posted. It is an indenture, and is written mostly in old English with occasional Latin, circa. Mid 1600s to the mid 1700s. ECD8F306-CF8C-4EC2-A81E-6903181D1869.jpeg
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  20. NormW

    NormW Student Of Coinology Supporter

    Thanks for all the feedback. By the way, I didn't intened for the pix to be sideways. They looked "not sideways" when I uploaded them. Here are a few that I am trying again. Also; It's one document with writing on both sides. 20190212_142803.jpg 20190212_142808.jpg [/FLOAT_RIGHT]

    20190212_142826.jpg 20190212_142553.jpg 20190212_142557.jpg

    Attached Files:

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  21. NormW

    NormW Student Of Coinology Supporter

    Okay, I still don't know why two of the pix are sideways. They were not sideways when hit "post reply"
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