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17th-century artifacts on display at Jamestown

Photo courtesy Jamestown/Yorktown Foundation

Jamestown Settlement debuted a new special exhibition this fall that focuses on the scientific advances, economic developments and social changes of the early Colonial period in American history.

“The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World,” will be on exhibit at the Williamsburg, Virginia museum through Aug. 15. The exhibit is a collaboration with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which lent 65 objects from its collection Jamestown Settlement.

The exhibition comprises seven main themes, ranging from Enlightenment-era technology to Mediterranean culture and intercontinental trade. “Westward Ho! Conquest of the Atlantic” features early 17th-century portraits of Sir Thomas Dale, who served as marshal and subsequently deputy governor of Virginia between 1611 and 1616.

Among eight objects in “Religious Conflicts: Reformation and Counter Reformation” are a stove tile depicting Duke Heinrich the Pious of Saxony and an Inca drinking vessel from Peru that incorporates Spanish influences into its traditional design. The section dealing with the Enlightenment has a portrait of John Locke (an early American intellectual), and maps of Virginia from the early Colonial era.

Visitors will also find an array of objects from India, including a “huqqa” pipe for smoking through water and six watercolor paintings. Objects from China include porcelain Buddhist sculptures and other everyday objects. Tableware, cups and spoons from French Huguenots living in England in the 17th century comprise the “Silver and Silversmiths” exhibit.