Tuesday 27 December 2022

A Ceremonial Cradle


Ceremonial cradle, Chateau de Chenonceau, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.

These berceau d'apparat as they are known in French became a must have item for high status and pretentious parents. 19th century ones, as I assume this one is, are usually made of mahogany, and with their fanciful shapes and designs they look thoroughly unsafe, even for the newborns they were intended for. The most well known and ostentatious of them all dates from 1811, a gift from the City of Paris for Napoleon's son. 

This one can be seen in the Five Queens Bedroom of the Chateau of Chenonceau. Cradles like this are not intended for daily use, but for presenting a high status newborn baby to the world in a ceremonial way.

1 comment:

Le Pré de la Forge said...

Susan, you were saying that swaddling a child was no longer done in the 19thC.... but, I wonder if they were swaddled to be placed in this.... that would make it a lot safer to use for the short time it would be in use.

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