Herjolfsnes no.63, 64

Pattern drawing based on Nörlund

This is a man's garment made of four front pieces and four back pieces The garment is open in front, closing with buttons. There is one button in the collar, and 15 surviving buttonholes down the front, spaces about 1.8 cm (.6") apart. There are three button holes at the bottom 14-18 cm (5.5-7") from the bottom, but these seem to end, suggesting that there is a gap in the closure. Norlund suggests that there are no buttonholes from the waist down, the waist being closed by a belt. The front opening and neck are trimmed in a thin light colored material. The seam along the back is decorated with a backstitch.

The sleeve length is 62 cm (24.4"), and compared to the relatively short garment length indicates that this coat probably reached about to the knees of the wearer.

Sleeve length: 62 cm (24.4")
Front Seam: 95 cm (37.4")
Back seam: 103 cm (40.5")
Neck Circumference: 44 cm (17")
Armhole Circumference: 65 cm (25.6")
Waist Circumference: 140 cm (55")
Bottom Circumference: 300 cm (118")
The fabric is a medium stout fourshaft twill with a black warp and a brown weft.

Herjolfsnes no. 64 is a much more ravaged garment that appears to be made on the same general design. There are twelve existing button holes in the top about 2.25 cm (.9") apart, as well as 2 button holes 24 cm (9.4") from the bottom.

Front Seam: 107 cm (42")
Back seam: 125 cm (49")
Neck Circumference: 48 cm (18.9")
Waist Circumference: 136 cm (53.5")
Bottom Circumference: 300 cm (118")

On 29 March 2004, a note from Eva Andersson to MedCos ( said:

"Re: Another 14th century gentleman
When I got back to work today I checked what was written on the buttoned garment in the latest publication on the Herjolfsnes finds, "Som syet til jorden" by Else Östergård.  Most of the right front side is missing and also a big part of the left front side. So we don't know if there were any more buttonholes. The garment was also cut in pieces when found, to be used as a shroud, for example the sleeves were wrapped around the corpse's body.  The C14-dating is (as they always are) not very exact but places the garment in the span 1280-1400, with a 68,2% probability for the period 1295-1390."

A second person, as yet unverified tells me that the new examination of these garments Som syel til jorden says that this garment has been carbon dated to 650+/-40 BP, or 1260-1340.

This page was last modified 24 April 2004

Some Sources:

Go to Kyrtles/Cotes/Tunics/Gowns Page; Herjolsnes Site Page

Some Clothing of the Middle Ages -- Kyrtles/Cotes/Tunics/Gowns -- Herjolfsnes 63, 64, by I. Marc Carlson, Copyright 1997 This code is given for the free exchange of information, provided the Author's Name is included in all future revisions, and no money change hands-