Oak foot stove

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Northern Netherlands
17th century
19.5 cm
22.3 cm
20.5 cm

L. van Aalst & A. Hofstede, Noord-Nederlandse meubelen van renaissance tot vroege barok 1550-1670, Houten 2011, p. 481, 482.

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This oak foot stove is richly decorated with very fine relief and ajour decorations. It stands on four ball feet. Beneath the four panels is the inscription 'LIEFDE VERWINT WAPENS BLYCK KINT CER CELYCK TOT U GESINT'. The four panels have different scenes; on one of the two long sides is a female angel with a child in her arms, on the other long side is a winged cherub holding a horn of plenty. Both figures are surrounded by an exuberant garland of flowers, leaves and fruit. On the shorter sides, there is on one side a coat of arms with two lions, surrounded by a curly cartouche and held by two cherubs. On the other side is a crowned coat of arms with the letters D L / D, probably the initials of the owner(s). The coat of arms is surrounded by floral work and volutes.

On the top of the pedestal is a carved bouquet of flowers, leaves and fruit. The sloping upper edge is decorated with curly foliage. On the protruding lower edge is a decoration in the form of carved hearts or ovals, in semi-circles. Around the panels is finely carved foliage, with six-petalled flowers in the corners.

In the foot stove, a pot with glowing coals was placed, so it could be used as a foot warmer and footrest. The use of a foot stove was a typical Dutch custom in the 17th century. The stoves were used both at home and in public places, such as churches and in means of transport, to drive away the cold. They were a welcome addition to the rooms that were poorly heated by open fires. Often, a simple stove was used, although a number of stoves are known to have served as wedding gifts; the bride received a richly decorated wedding stove as a present, which was not suitable for regular use, but was intended to impress. Considering the inscription and the theme of the decorations, it is likely that this stove is a wedding stove.   


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