Knitting from the Netherlands

Dutch Town Homes,
page 8 of 8

These outfits of silver were, of course, unusual, but nearly all families had some pieces; and even on farms there would be seen fine pieces of silver.

Curious forms of Dutch silver were the “bite and stir” sugar boxes, often shell-shaped, with a partition in the middle. On one side was placed the loaf sugar, which could be nibbled with the tea; on the other, the powdered or granulated sugar, which could be stirred into the teacup with a teaspoon. Another graceful piece was the ooma, or sifter, for the mixed cinnamon and sugar with which many sprinkled their hot waffles. An ooma resembled a muffineer. The name was derived from the Dutch oom, an uncle, and the article was a favorite gift of an uncle on the wedding day of niece or nephew. We find Dutch dames leaving by will “milk-pots shaped like a cow,” a familiar form of Dutch silver, and can readily believe that much silver owned in New York was made in Holland. ture of porcelain and stone-ware was already of much importance, and the importation of Oriental china was considerable, it is not strange that we find more frequent mention of articles of china than in the English colonies. For instance, Mayor Francis Rom-bouts came to this country as clerk for a Dutch commercial house and died in 1690. He had a cupboard furnished with earthenware and “purslin:” twenty-six earthen dishes, earthen pots, twelve earthen “cupps,” six “purslin cupps,” six earthen “juggs,” six pitchers, which was really a very pretty showing. Doubtless the “purslin” was Delft. In the list of early sales at Fort Orange, earthen-ware appears. In New England, in similar sales, its name would never be seen.

Trim and orderly pieces of furniture, as well as pretty ones, were the various hanging wall-racks for plates, knives, and spoons. I presume they were shaped like the ones still in use in Holland. We find in inventories lepel-borties (which were spoon-racks) as early as 1664. When an oaken plate-rack was filled with shining pewter plates, Delft dishes, or even red earthen “Portugese ware,” it made a thoroughly artistic decoration for the walls of the old Dutch kitchen. There were also stands or boxes with divisions for holding knives and forks.


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