Object Name: Kast
Medium: Walnut, elm, oak, ebony, iron
Dimensions: Overall: 87 x 88 1/2 x 29 in. ( 221 x 224.8 x 73.7 cm )
Place made: Dutch Republic
Description: Walnut Baroque kast; detachable overhanging molded cornice with applied central cartouche with two shields surmounted by a helmet and surrounded by foliate carving, above carved lion's mask; carved cherubs surrounded by foliate carving on front corners; rectangular case with two raised-panel doors with center stile attached to right-hand door, band of foliate carving with two putti on rail above door, vertical bands of foliate carving on side and center stiles, interior contains two shelves with drawers below shelves; separate base unit with long drawer with two wooden knobs (ebony), ornamented to look like two raised-panel drawers divided by central stile; drawer fronts, side and center stiles ornamented with foliate carving; two platform feet with depressed ball front feet (elm with oak tenons).
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Fenwick Beekman
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Object Number: 1941.914
This ample wardrobe, or kast, was made in the Dutch Republic and descended in the Keteltas and Beekman families of New York. Kasten were often part of a woman's dowry and were regarded as status symbols. This example was probably brought to New Amsterdam by the maternal ancestors of Jane Keteltas, who married James Beekman in 1752. Kasten became less popular in the American colonies by the mid-eighteenth, but continued to be important reminders of Dutch ancestry.
Krohn, Deborah, Peter Miller, and Marybeth De Filippis, eds., "Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick." New York: Bard Graduate Center, New-York Historical Society, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009, p. 256-8
Brooklyn Museum of Art, 5/14/90-4/91.
"Arriving in Style: The Beekman Family Coach," New-York Historical Society, November 20, 2004-February 20, 2005.
"Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margarita van Varick," Bard Graduate Center, New York, NY, September 18, 2009-January 24, 2010.