A nursing basket (bakermat), woven from willow branch material, kept in the 'Above in the back room', Room M.
The 'bakermat' or 'bakerkorf' was widely used in the Dutch Republic. It was a long narrow object, either a basket, or wood. The mother or wet nurse would sit in it, placing the baby on their lap to breastfeed it while leaning back and relaxing. In winter the 'bakermat' would be placed near the hearth for warmth.
For a full discussion see pregnancy and childbirth.
The bakermat formed part of the baby gear / trousseau.
Note: Photo Copyright Rijksmuseum Foundation. The Rijksmuseum has graciously assisted in this project Digital Home of Johannes Vermeer. The author was given permission to make a selection in the vast photo archive and this material has been made available by the Rijksmuseum.
This object was part of the Vermeer-inventory as listed by the clerk working for Delft notary public J. van Veen He made this list on February 29, 1676, in the Thins/Vermeer home located on Oude Langendijk on the corner of Molenpoort. The painter Johannes Vermeer had died there at the end of December 1675. His widow Catherina and their eleven children still lived there with her mother Maria Thins.
The transcription of the 1676 inventory, now in the Delft archives, is based upon its first full publication by A.J.J.M. van Peer, "Drie collecties...", Oud Holland, 1957, pp. 98-103. My additions and explanations are added in square brackets [__]. Dutch terms have been checked against the world's largest language dictionary, the Dictionary of the Dutch Language (Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal , or WNT), which was begun by De Vries en Te Winkel in 1882. In 2001 many textile terms have been kindly explained by art historian Marieke te Winkel.
Illustration on top taken from the recently published handbook on Dutch Doll Houses by Jet Pijzel-Dommisse,Het Hollandse pronkpoppenhuis, Interieur en huishouden in de 17de en 18de eeuw, Waanders, Zwolle; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2000, ill. 31.
This page forms part of a large encyclopedic site on Vermeer and Delft. Research by Drs. Kees Kaldenbach (email). A full presentation is on view at johannesvermeer.info.
Launched December, 2002; Last update March 1, 2017.
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