Remember the medieval Christmas cradle from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam? There happened to be another medieval Christmas crib in the Musee de Cluny in Paris, France, which Anne and I visited last month. Both cradles look strikingly similar, but the one from Cluny is more complete. It carries three bells underneath the cradle and also the original box in which the cradle was stored and carried has survived.
All the features of the Amsterdam cradle are here as well: the pinnacles, the archway, the lions, the tableau on top of the lions and the openwork tracery panels of the crib. According to the descriptions the cradle was made around 1500 in Belgium, likely Brussels. It is made of oak and walnut, and used to be painted and gilded.
The cradle itself with the openwork tracery panels.
Three crotal-like bells are hanging underneath the cradle. They would make a tingling sound if the cradle is swung.
One of the four lions supporting the cradle.
The original red painted box in which the cradle was stored with two coats of arms (male and female).
The box is locked with a simple bended pin.
The backside shows the simplicity of the construction: just (worm-eaten) wooden planks and nails.
Left: The side of the box. Right: The top with a handle to carry the box.