DB-0279.  Unopened letter. Click on either the "i", arrow, or four squares at the bottom right to view details of some of the letters showcasing their seals, watermarks, inserted items, and conservation issues. 

DB-0279.  Unopened letter. Click on either the "i", arrow, or four squares at the bottom right to view details of some of the letters showcasing their seals, watermarks, inserted items, and conservation issues. 

Seals

Seals

DB-0787. Unopened letter.

Seals

Seals

DB-2159. Opened letter with gold-flecked amber sealing wax.

Seals

Seals

 DB-2146.

Seals

Seals

DB-1162

Seals

Seals

DB-1100.

Seals

Seals

DB-0713. Fingerprints embedded in the sealing wax flanking the heart signet.

Seals

Seals

DB-0234.

Seals

Seals

DB-0858.

Seals

Seals

DB-0680.

 DB-1722.

DB-1722.

Seals

Seals

DB-0102. A Medici coat of arms (with three small florets in the top sphere in the coat of arms) papered seal secures a letter shut using a "two-piece" letterlocking system. Visit our letterlocking category variation gallery to learn more about letterlocking in the Brienne Collection.

Seals

Seals

DB-1465. A raking light shot (light directed from one direction (usually from to the top or from the left of the object) to capture details difficult to see with normal illumination.

Seals

Seals

DB-1910. A shaped-paper lock was folded in half and cut to form before the signet was impressed into the paper through wax or wafer to create this papered seal.

Seals

Seals

DB-1953. The signet is impressed through a bright red starch wafer which was sandwiched between the folded, slit, and tucked sections of this letter to create this papered seal while closing it.

 DB-2124. This wax seal secured shut the wrapper that enclosed the sheet of metallic thread samples. 

DB-2124. This wax seal secured shut the wrapper that enclosed the sheet of metallic thread samples. 

 DB-2124. These signet also act as an adhesive to hold down metallic thread samples. 

DB-2124. These signet also act as an adhesive to hold down metallic thread samples. 

 DB-1653.

DB-1653.

 DB-2240

DB-2240

DB-1118

DB-1118

Opened letter

Opened letter

DB-1876. Detail of an opened love letter. The brown stains are from the adhesive, which has darkened over time, once used to secure the letter shut after it was folded into an intricette diamond-shaped enclosure.

Opened letter

Opened letter

DB-752. Handling letters folded for 400 years requires care otherwise the paper may tear at the places where the folds intersect each other.

Opened letter

Opened letter

DB-2004.

Opened letter

Opened letter

DB-2146. Check out the detail of the seal in the "seals" section.

Opened letter

Opened letter

DB-2040.

Opened letter

Opened letter

DB-0365.

Inserted objects

Inserted objects

DB-2240: 4 November 1701. Enclosed in a letter addressed to Merchant Monsieur De Roeveir was a letter sealed (now opened) in another wrapper addressed to Mademoiselle Anne Porters living with Thomas Porters in Aarlebeek. This little token is referred to as a "poesieplaatje" in Dutch.

Inserted objects

Inserted objects

DB-2240: 4 November 1701.

Inserted objects

Inserted objects

DB-1320. Textile swatches inserted in a letter include four samples of felt, in different red dyes; one sample of cloth-of-gold.

Author: Antoine Hoffnagel, writing from Paris, France.

Inserted objects

Inserted objects

DB-1320. Detail of inserted textile swatches include four samples of felt, in different red dyes; one sample of cloth-of-gold.

Author: Antoine Hoffnagel, writing from Paris, France.

.

Inserted objects

Inserted objects

DB-2124.

Inserted objects

Inserted objects

DB-1820. Many of the letters in the Brienne Collection have one or more letters enclosed within. The letter enclosed in this example remains sealed shut.

Inserted objects

Inserted objects

DB-0901.

Watermarks

Watermarks

DB-1977.

Watermarks

Watermarks

DB-1986.

 DB-2240.

DB-2240.

Conservation: Iron gall ink corrosion

Conservation: Iron gall ink corrosion

DB-0220. It is too late to stabilize the entire area of this ink blot. The iron-containing ink corroded through the paper taking away some of the textual information with it. Conservators will work to identify and stabilize other letters with similar challenges. Flexing the letters opened and closed causes these brittle areas to become weaker and possibly break away after each use.

Conservation: Iron gall ink corrosion

Conservation: Iron gall ink corrosion

DB-0178. The repairs on this letter will be threefold: stabilize the corroding ink rusting through the paper in the shape of the words, mend torn away areas of the paper containing textual information, and in this case, bits of the seal.

Conservation: Iron gall ink corrosion

Conservation: Iron gall ink corrosion

DB-0998. The missing words along the letter folds happens when the ink rusts and burns the paper fibers causing "lacing". Manuscripts in this collection with this type of damage will need to be statabilized before the papers can be opened and digitized for access.