A bronze mortar and pestle

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Netherlands, Deventer
Dated 1638
17.3 cm
19.7 cm

This bronze mortar with its original pestle is decorated with two coats-of-arms surrounded by leafs and garlands. The handles of the mortar are shaped as seamonsters.
The text in the frieze reveals the year of manufacture and its owner "I(O)CNKHEER HENRICK VAN ESSEN 1638". The coats-of-arms belong to the families Van Essen and Loose. The couple Hendrick van Essen (1579-1640) and Swane Loose (died in 1645) were the owners. The apparent connection between the Van Essen Family and castle Essenburg, where the present mortar was acquired at the beginning of the 20th century by the grandfather of its previous owner is never confirmed. The Van Essen family lived in castle Vanenburg in Putten or in castle Schaffelaar in Barneveld from circa 1640. The family became extinct in 1791.

The shape, ornaments and decorations suggests that the mortar was made in Deventer.

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