Title   Cetel lappen (Search for the image)
Translated title Kettles To Mend
Intro Text by dr D. Barnes, accompanying Bramer’s drawing of a kettlesmith (`ketellapper’)

Code of occupational group 87350
Description A kettlesmith or tinker sits in the open air using a wooden stake to position a kettle so he can hammer the rim smooth. He grasps the rim with his left hand and holds the hammer in his raised right hand. A large metal kettle is in the right foreground. A woman approaches from behind the tinker. She holds a metal cooking pot by its handle in her left hand; a long handled frying pan is in her right hand. Both pans need repair. In the background, a second man walks away from the tinker carrying kettles strapped on his back. He holds a long handled, shallow, fry pan in his hand. A woman sits in front of a building at the far left, watching the peddler and the woman approaching the tinker.

Large brass and tin-lined copper metal kettles were used for washing clothes, for heating and holding dishwater, and for cooking soups and stews. Kettles hung on adjustable iron hooks and trammels in the fireplace with a fire under them as the ingredients simmered and bubbled. Metal frying pans were seated on a raised three-legged iron trivet over the burning coals heaped in the hearth and those pans were used to bake pancakes or fry eggs and smoked ham or cured bacon.

Jost Amman's Ständebuch depicts a coppersmith standing at an anvil making a kettle, while kettles, bed-warming pans, and ladles are displayed in his shop window. Pierre Brebiette's "Les Cris de Paris" (ca. 1640-1641) depicts a young tinker with pots and pans and kitchen utensils, etching numbered 34, (New York Public Library). Jan Luyken depicted the coppersmith, "De Kooperslaager", as one of his working artisans in het Menselyk Bedryf.

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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