S343: Funeral Spoon
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© The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
|Object type||In category: Metalwork » Flatware » Spoon » Early spoon (pre 1700) » Funeral|
|Place of origin||Europe » Northern Europe » Low countries » Netherlands » Amsterdam|
15.0 cm length
|Materials & techniques||
|Description||Funeral spoon for Elisabeth Boser|
|Marks and inscriptions||
This elaborately decorated spoon was made to commemorate the death of Elisabeth Boser in Amsterdam. According to the inscription in Dutch on the back of the spoon she was only 11 years old when she died on 20 July 1664. The inscription is flanked by two skeletons holding scythes. Inside the spoon bowl is engraved with Christ raising Lazarus within a foliate border.
According to records in the Amsterdam Municipal Archives, Elisabeth Boser was the only daughter of Jacob and Annetje Boser (also spelt Booser/Boosers/Boset/Boosardt). The couple married in 1647 and lived in the Oude Teertuinen district of Amsterdam. Jacob was a shoemaker. He and his wife had five children: Hendrick, Henrick, Anna Lisabet (Elisabeth) and Jacobus. Elisabeth was baptised in the Amsterdam Oude Kirk on 23 March 1653. She was buried in the Oude Kerk on 24 July 1664. This richly decorated spoon and the relatively high cost of her funeral (15 guilders), suggest that Elisabeth was greatly cherished by her family.
It is highly likely that Elisabeth was the victim of the plague epidemic that decimated Amsterdam between 1663-66. It is estimated that 10% of the population died including Rembrandt's partner Hendrickje Stoffeld. Despite strict quarantine measures – noted by Samuel Pepys - the epidemic subsequently spread to London in 1665 where it became known as the Great Plague.
|Muse theme||The Art of Collecting
The History of the Holburne Collection » The Collection » Silver
|Method of acquisition||Bequest|
|Provenance||Sir T. W. Holburne (1793-1874); by whom bequeathed to Mary-Anne Barbara Holburne (1802-1882); by whom bequeathed to the Museum|