Baking pattern

HWD burnt on the back, Switzerland(?), 17th century
Pearwood, diameter 18 cm
Inv.1894.475.

The fool, the playful personification of folly, is shown here in the costume traditional since the C15: donkey eared cap with bells and a cape with bells over his gaudy coat. His attribute is the cudgel or fool's sceptre, known as a 'marotte', tipped with a carved fool's head. Today, quirky forms of behaviour are known as 'Marotten in German. The jug, glass and loaf point to the intemperance of the fool, to whom any idea of abstinence or fasting is alien. The broken glasses and the gesture of looking through his fingers' indicate his simple mindedness, bereft of 'insight' behind appearances. With its round shape, the pattern resembles a round mirror held up to the carouser: hence the inscription, "Unser sind drei" (there are three of us) - the fool in the picture, his image on the marotte, and the beholder himself.

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