Hallway on the ground floor and cellar

5 Hallway (gang)


length: XX meters (XX feet)

width: XX meters (XX feet)

size: XX square meters (XX square feet) not including landing

The hallway ran from the front room to the back room along the southern wall of the Gulden Hoofd. Without windows, it was lit only from the front room at one end and the back room at the other end.

The landing gave access to the spiral staircase that went to the upper floors as well as down a few steps to the little cellar.

When making the inventory in 1745, the notaries found three racks and a flat basket in the hallway, no doubt for coats, hats, shoes, and boots. They found a table ring and a tea tray as well as a dozen walking sticks. Given that Leeuwenhoek lived to 90 and Maria lived until 88, they may well have needed the assistance for walking.

As were the walls in the other rooms, the walls of the dimly lit hallway were covered with paintings. Two bamboo mats (litrottingen) and six Delft Blue plates also had Leeuwenhoek's picture. The dozen other paintings were portraits, landscapes, or genre paintings with children, horses, and a church. No artists' names were noted.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household furnishings and goods (huijsraad en imboel) and paintings in the hallway on page 31 (right; click to enlarge).

A rack (rak) 1 portrait
1 bamboo matting (litrotting) with silver and with the portrait of A. v. Leeuwenhoek inlaid ?? 1 landscape, 1 group of people (gezelschap)
1 ditto with silver inlaid 2 small paintings
3 reed mats (rottingen) 11 sticks (stokken) A painted flat basket (geverfd bennetje)
A sword (degen), a pickaxe (piek) 1 table ring (tafelringh)
1 large painting 1 tea tray (teeblad)
2 paintings with children, etc. 2 racks
1 ditto with a church 6 Delft plates (Delfse borden) with the portrait of A. v. Leeuwenhoek
1 ditto with a man with horses  

13 Cellar (kelder)

Beginning their inventory at the front door of the main house, the notaries went through the three rooms and hallway on the lower floor. Then they went through the gallery to the kitchens, the two courtyards, and finally, the back house with the privy.

Having finished the lower floor, all the rooms marked in de or in het, they walked back into the main house. In the hallway, they stepped onto the landing in order to go upstairs. They paused, however, to go down into the little cellar.

It was not a full cellar like the one under the Druif shown in the 1922 cross-section for the V&D. It was probably very small and not large enough to stand up in. The inventory listed a iron rack and some shelving, which may have been mounted on the iron rack.

As was common in Delft, Leeuwenhoek used the cellar mainly for storing the family's drinking supply, melted snow water and wine. As the city's wine gauger, he knew a lot about wine. He discussed wine at length in his letters, but he hardly ever mentioned beer. He also kept wine vinegar in the cellar, sometimes for decades.

As mentioned in his letters, Leeuwenhoek used the snow water, wine, and vinegar in this experiments. He used this cellar for other purposes, too. Early in his career, he melted salt there. Because the cellar was cool and he kept changing the water, he was able to keep some eels alive down there for three months in 1700 in glazed earthen jars.

Leeuwenhoek mentioned this cellar in five different letters over three decades:

Letter 11 (AB 6) of September 7, 1674 to Henry Oldenburg

I have observed somewhat about Salt, of which I took a little and put it on the brim of a Tin dish, and so let it melt in my cellar, and having exposed that Brim to the hot Air, or the Fire, I had it turn'd into Salt again;

Letter 26 (AB 18) of October 9, 1676 to Henry Oldenburg

The 26th of April, I took 2½ ounces of Snow-water, which was about three years old, and which had stood all the time either in my cellar or closet in a glass-bottle well stopped. In it I could discover no living creatures: And having poured some of it into a porcelain thea-cup, I put therein half an ounce of whole pepper, and so placed it in my study. ...

For two or three years I have not been able to find any little worms or eels in the vinegar that I keep in a cask in my cellar for my household.

Letter 82 (AB 43) of January 5, 1685 to members of the Royal Society

My wine vinegar (a cask of which, enough for a whole year, I lay down for my household) and which had been in my cellar for about three months) had become so sour as far to exceed in acidity my previous stock.

Letter 176 (AB 106) of September 12, 1696 to Anthonie Heinsius

I had wine-vinegar on which there were Marigold leaves brought to me from my cellar, which vinegar has been preserved in a bottle for more than twenty-five years and is uncommonly strong.

Letter 228 (AB 140) of August 2, 1701 to members of the Royal Society

Last year I kept alive, for as many as three months, small eels, the largest of which were no more than the length of a finger. These little eels were in a big, flat-bottomed, earthen, glazed jar and were placed in my cellar, which is very cool, and the water was renewed at least once a week.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed on page 32 (right; click to enlarge) only a couple of things (huijsraad en imboel) that were left in the cellar (in de kelder).

An iron rack
9 boards (planken)
6 painted laths (latjes)