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Diaper basket

Delft, circa 1670-1685

Origin: Delft

Marked: Not marked, Decoration after Adriaen van Ostade

Date: Circa 1670-1685

Dimensions: 11.3 cm x 34 cm x 39 cm

Provenance: ex. Collection Jhr. Six van Vromade, Fl. 310,-, M. Keerzer;

Sale Jack Niekerk, Amsterdam, 18 October 1932 lot 235.

A.. Vecht, Amsterdam.


A diaper basket was usually made of woven willow branches, wicker or wood and the shape is almost the same form as that of the mangle tray. In very wealthy families, one could find a silver diaper basket, also known as clothes (ben = basket), which was displayed as a status symbol in the delivery room. Herein lay the most precious items of clothing worn during the christening, such as the red velvet and lace-covered upper and lower linen diaper (luur = diaper), the gloves and the lace cap etc. The depiction on this diaper basket leaves nothing to the imagination. We see an Old Dutch interior with a woven wicker cradle in the middle. The mother has just changed the child, while the father is lighting a pipe. A similar scene is depicted on a smaller-sized basket attributed to the ‘Moriaenshooft’ pottery by the Hoppesteijn family.

The shape of the diaper basket has many similarities with a wooden mangle tray from the same period, while the half-round twisted ornaments on the edge are directly derived from the woven wicker diaper baskets from Halle in Brabant. We find this in a small format in the inventory of the doll houses. The grotesques portrayed on the vertical side of the basket might have derived from wooden carvings or from silverware produced in the second half of the seventeenth century.

Diaper baskets went out of fashion a long time ago. Only the most valuable examples have survived. The present Delft diaper basket once belonged to the famous collection formerly owned by the Six van Vromade family, and it has been given on long-term loan to the Gemeente Museum in Arnhem, and subsequently to the Museum in Delft. Furthermore, this showpiece from the Golden Age was cherished for many decades by A. Vecht (1886-1965) , one of the greatest experts in the field of Dutch Delftware.


-Cat. Kent en versint, Eer datje mint. Vrijen en trouwen 1500-1800 (Zwolle 1989) Red. Pretra van Bohemen e.a. pag. 211.

-Prof. Th. H. Lunsingh Scheurleer. Enkele oude Nederlandse kraamgebruiken. Antiek, VI, 1971- “72. Pag. 297-332.

-Dr. Jan Daniël van Dam. “Vijf mandjes en een kannetje uit een fabriek; het belang van merken op Delftse Faïence. Vormen uit Vuur-1998-1 pag. 16-25. In het bijzonder afb. 5.

-Dr. Jet Pijzel-Dommisse. Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis. (Amsterdam-Zwolle 2000) pag. 32, no: 26.

-David Mulder “Museum Six” een negentiende eeuwse kunstverzamelaar. In: De Gouden Bocht van Amsterdam. Pag. 246-255.


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