An engraved marriage casket

Friesland, circa 1650

more information

An engraved marriage casket

In The Netherlands, the most important silver object that is associated with marriage is the marriage casket, the so-called ‘knottekistje’. From the 16th century onwards it became a Frisian tradition that a man proposed his beloved to marry him by presenting her a coin. When several coins were offered together they were presented in a loosely knotted cloth. If the girl drew the knot tighter, the couple considered themselves to be engaged. The man proclaimed the following verse:

Wotte? sa wotte Sa heste de knotte
Wost it net dwaen Den kinst my de knotte werjaen

which translates into:

Do you want to?- if so
You will have the knotted cloth
If not You should return the cloth to me

Provenance
Private collection, the Netherlands

Friesland, circa 1650

Dimensions
h 7,8 cm, w 7,1, d 5,5 cm

Weight
130 gr