Layette Basket

Marked by Adriaen van Hoecke (Dutch, 1659–1716)

Object Place: Europe, The Hague, The Netherlands


L x W x H: 72 x 42.1 x 12.8 cm (28 3/8 x 16 9/16 x 5 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery (Gallery 242)





Rectangular shape enclosing wide border of flowers finely chased. Subject depicted in panel in middle of basket is from Virgil, “Without food and drink, love grows cold”; Ceres and Bacchus offering gifts to venus, with landscape in background. Monogram on handles.

Layette baskets, a specialty of silversmiths in The Hague, held the infant’s baptismal clothes before the christening. This basket bears the monogram of Willem Adriaen van Nassau and the coat of arms of his wife, Elizabeth van der Nisse; they probably commissioned it at the birth of their son Cornelis in June 1667.


Engraved arms on reverse of Elisabeth van der Nisse, Lady of Heinkeszand, Overzande and Driewegen (Zeeland). Monogram on handles of WAVN (William Adriaen van Nassau)


Town mark for The Hague; AVH (maker's mark); year letter P (1666-67)


1666-67, made for Count Willem Adriaen van Nassau, Lord of Odijk and his wife, Elizabeth van der Nisse, The Hague, The Netherlands [see note 1]. February 29, 1980, sold at Philip's, London, lot 34. By 1982, with Curator's Choice, Ltd., Boston, MA; 1982, sold by Curator's Choice and bought by the MFA through the John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund. (Accession date: December 8, 1982)

[1] The handles of the basket bear Count Willem Adriaen van Nassau's monogram, and the arms of his wife, Elizabeth van der Nisse, and was probably a gift for their son Cornelis, baptized on June 8, 1667. Traditionally, the layette basket was presented by the father's family on the occasion of an infant's baptism.

Credit Line

John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund