Title   Cockkernote (Search for the image)
Translated title Walnuts
Intro Text by dr D. Barnes, accompanying Bramer’s drawing of a walnut peddler (`walnotenventer’)

Code of occupational group 45220
Description A man carrying two baskets filled with nuts walks across a market square near a large church. He is shouting out his wares. He passes next to a young woman seated on a low ladderback chair using a knife to open up fruits and nuts which she has in two baskets, a small one near her right foot, and a taller one near her left knee. The nut peddler has a broad- brimmed hat and wears a scarf knotted jauntily at his neck. He turns his face and eyes towards the woman.

Dutch people enjoyed ripe walnuts right from the shell, but also used them in cooking, and sometimes made spiced sweetmeats from the green walnuts. Although fruits and vegetables were commonly sold by market women, men sometimes brought produce into town from their farms and orchards to sell. Some men purchased smaller quantities of foodstuffs from other vendors to peddle by walking through the streets, crying out their wares.

Markets were commonly located around church squares, the central location in most Dutch towns, and thus easily found by travelers who looked for the steeple to get their sense of direction. In Delft, there were several churches. The largest were the Onde Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk. Vegetable market stands were set up near the Nieuwe Kerk, across the square from the city hall, and not far from the municipal weigh house.

Again, this drawing by Bramer is clearly in the tradition of street cries, but he has animated it further by providing the exchange between the man and woman. Wichmann mistakenly translated "cockkernoten" as coconuts. Okkernoot had been an old Dutch word for walnuts, which around 1620 was written as "cockernot", the word penned by Bramer.

Source Donna R. Barnes, Ed D, Street scenes, Leonard Bramer's drawings of seventeenth-century daily life (Hofstra Museum exhibition 1991). Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

Click here for the introductory essay on Bramer's drawings.



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