Butter barrel, butter pot


Three Cologne butter barrels (...) and a tin butter container. 'Drie keulse boterpotten (...) een tinne boterpoth', in the Small room or Camertie near the Great Hall, room G.

The WNT dictionary sais: "an earthenware (commonly a so-called Cologne) pot used to sell butter and to keep it under brine." WNT vol III,1, col. 718.

Deft was famous for its high quality butter which was sold on Boterbrug.

Note : 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 within 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 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. 256, 646.

Lit.: L.F.H.H. Beekhuizen, De schoonheid van het oude tin. Een overzicht van vijf eeuwen tin, Pilkington & Larousse, 's-Hertogenbosch 1998.

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 2, 2017.

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