Baking pattern

GIS carved on the back, Switzerland (?), 17th century
height 16 cm, width 8 cm
Inv. 1892.110.

1301px x 2097px
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In the C17 pairs of lovers were frequently depicted standing stiffly side by side in rich clothing against a flat background and holding each other at the waist and shoulder. It seems likely that sweetmeats bearing such images were used as love or wedding gifts. The smooth, 'lacquered', honey gingerbread, with figures heightened with white icing, or marzipan cakes with coloured markings, were well suited to this treatment. Depictions of single people in festive dress are less common. This example has a costume image based on an engraving from the series Noblesse by Jacques Callot of Nancy (1592-1635). The tightly laced bodice with a long hanging train has a deep decollete and is framed by a stiff lace collar. The long sleeves have slit puffs and lace cuffs folded back. The under skirt is richly embroidered while the over skirt is gathered up at the back, as the fashion of the 1630s allowed. As accessories the lady wears a feathered hat, a necklace, a pair of gloves and a feather fan. The woodcarver's technique, limited to a few forms but subtly applied, gives the image a poster like force.

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