Watch CBS News

In 1807, a ship was seized by the British navy, the crew jailed and the cargo taken. Archivists just opened the packages.

The red sweater appears as if it was purchased yesterday – but it's been more than 200 years since the handmade gift has seen the light of day. 

Archivists opened parcels from the Anne-Marie cargo ship, which was seized by the British Navy during the Second Battle of Copenhagen, Thursday at the National Archives in the United Kingdom. Along with the sweater, the archivists opened parcels containing fabric samples, stockings, silver coins and other items from the beleaguered ship.

National Archives reveal 200-year-old sweater
Sarah Noble, the senior conservation manager for imaging at the National Archives in the United Kingdom, handles a wad of paper rix-dollars which were wrapped around 18 silver coins, which include Danish skillings dating back to the reign of Frederick III of Denmark, 1648-1670 which was found in a parcel among a stash of 19th-century letters, when opened for the first time at the National Archives in Kew, London. Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

But none were as unique as the surviving sweater, the archivists said, "This is a rare example of a parcel surviving in the Prize Papers, which often contain letters consigned to ships for delivery by sea," said Dr. Amanda Bevan of the National Archives.

The fine hand-knit sweater was shipped from the Faroe Islands by a carpenter named Niels C. Winther, a statement from the National Archives said. It was accompanied by a letter from Winther to the fiancé of Mr P Ladsen in Copenhagen saying, 'my wife sends her regards, thank you for the pudding rice. She sends your fiancé this sweater and hopes that it is not displeasing to her.' The letter was written in Danish. 

National Archives reveal 200-year-old sweater
Sarah Noble, the senior conservation manager for imaging at the National Archives in the United Kingdom, holds a 200-year-old sweater in a traditional Faroese knit which was found in a parcel among a stash of 19th-century letters, when opened for the first time at the National Archives in Kew, London. Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

The cargo ship had sailed from the Faroe Islands through Denmark when it was targeted by the HMS Defence off the coast of Norway on Sept. 2, 1807, and both the cargo and the ship's mailbox were taken, the statement said. Archivists said they plan to digitize the letters and the packages' contents.

Various cargo from shipwrecks have been recently recovered. Last month, divers exploring the British HMS Erebus wreck off the coast of Canada discovered an array of "fascinating artifacts," including pistols, coins and an intact thermometer. 

Last year, divers discovered a Dutch warship off the coast of southern England. The ship was carrying a cargo of marble tiles for use in building high-status homes.

Reporting contributed by Stephen Smith

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news