Title   Aerde plateelen (Search for the image)
Translated title Stoneware
Intro Text by dr D. Barnes, accompanying Bramer’s drawing of a stoneware vendor (`plateel verkoopster’)

Code of occupational group 45220
Description A saucy young woman with her right hand on her hip stands outside a doorway with two baskets of stoneware plates, jugs, and pitchers hanging from a wooden yoke across her shoulders. She turns her head slightly to talk to an older woman leaning out through the open upper portion of the Dutch door. The woman leans her right arm on the lower portion of the door and holds a stoneware plate. The vendor holds onto the handle of one basket with her right hand. That wicker basket is larger, fuller, and probably heavier than the other basket. Roof tiles and facade details suggest that the women's exchange is occurring in a city neighborhood.

Stoneware, sometimes grey and often glazed a deep blue with white glaze trimming, became popular in the Netherlands because it was sturdy and attractive. Made by potteries, it was sold at fairs and by door to door peddlers. Some salt-glazed stoneware was produced in Germany, and imported into the Netherlands for Dutch consumption.

Stoneware cooking utensils were sometimes arranged in still life arrangements in genre paintings of kitchen interiors. A notable example is Nicolaes Maes "A Sleeping Maid and Her Mistress"
(National Gallery, London), where earthenware pots, ladles, skimmers, plates and platters, metal pots, and an earthenware colander are arranged at the feet of the snoozing kitchen maid. Nicolaes Maes' "Old Woman Saying Grace" c. 1655 depicts a pewter-lidded stoneware tankard. Stoneware drinking jugs appear in a number of tavern scenes, such as Arent Diepraam's "A Peasant Smoking" (National Gallery, London), as well as in still lifes, such as Harmen van Steenwijck's "Stoneware Jug, Game, and Fish" in the Heinz Family Collection. However, Bramer's animated vignette of the woman selling these items is quite unique.

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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