The Mysterious Message From 1636: Lost and Found

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Honestly, I need help from the brilliant classics scholars and antiquarian bibliophiles here on the internet. I admit I am stumped. Utterly incapable of trying to decipher the calligraphy and language on this little item….

I found it in a giant bin of other ephemera at a flea market.

Is it really from 1636?

And what was it written on? (Yikes, I hope it’s NOT human skin!)

Most of all, what does it say?

After studying it until my eyes rolled back into my head, I realized I’m out of my depth and must appeal to the great brains and learned scholars here for help.

Here is the first side:

Smaller Image of Side One

This is provided for readers perusing this post.

Both of these files are very large, and may appear strangely on the blog post. But I realized that without first scanning the item, I was at a disadvantage, hence, I’ve uploaded the full scans here.

By clicking on them individually, you’ll be able to see the full image, zoom in and out, etc… It helps tremendously to allow the perspective to focus on details you otherwise would not see clearly, especially considering the calligraphy.

Click the link below to see the full article:

For the reader for whom I have peaked interest, I advise clicking the image below, to see the full scale.

Due to the large size of this file, it will not fully appear until you click on it. This is the first side of the mysterious scrap of a message, dated 1636.

I advise clicking on the image so you can view it at its full scale. It may take a moment to load since it is almost 10MB. This is the opposite side of the mysterious message found in a bin at a flea market.

So please, if you are a fellow lover of the classical world and of human history, may I impose on your generous skills and ask if you might share with me your thoughts? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Wherever this has been, its message somehow (whether from 1636 or from 1836 or from 1966) traveled an unknown journey to reach, whom?

Surely, we cannot dismiss the possibility of its value just because it ended up in a Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, buried under cut plates from 18th and 19th century books?

Article by Kimberly Cox, Copyright 2012, All Rights Reserved

NEW YORK CITY, Saturday, 30-June-2012

  1. Line 1: “Commendation of his obligation (-?-) William Wather”. It’s all Ole’ English and reads like stereo instructions to me. The name William grabbed me, because it’s my name. The hand writing is oddly like mine in too many ways. It’s practiced, rushed, stuffed together at intersections and blown out strokes as a result. I realize the 1st word’s letter don’t match “Commendation”, but the “of his obligation” seems clear to me. Most Likely —> 2 “Nobles” while working out the percentages, were so fucking hammered, they couldn’t even put together a good cohesive lie. They either thought it was funny and kept it as a joke, or as some legal enough paper to present should new according circumstances arise and require “PROPER” Evidence. That’s what i got from an hours viewing. Beautiful Picture


  2. Very cool. I see the name William a few times in the letter, can’t make out the last name (if that’s what it is). I can’t read anything else, is it in Italian?


    • I’m puzzled by the language as well. Yes, I think I saw Italian but a lot of it reads like Elizabethan English, some seems to be Gaelic, and also, Latin seems to stand out.


  3. Hello? Is there anybody out there? …Just comment if you can read me….


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