Tea and coffee

Tea and coffee became popular in the Dutch Republic during Leeuwenhoek's lifetime. The ships brought back not only the leaves and beans. They also brought the cups, saucers, and pots to drink them with, often in the same chest where the leaves cushioned the delicate porcelain.


  • 40 rinsing bowls
  • 372 cups
  • things for tea and coffee
  • 58 cups
  • 42 teapots
  • 97 miscellaneous: milk pitchers, dolls, and salt and pepper containers

Rinsing bowls (all on p. ?? of the inventory):

3 blue rinsing bowls (spoelkommen)

2 ditto

2 large blue bowls

3 large rinsing bowls

2 ditto

2 brown ditto

6 blue ditto with tops (lids)

2 blue rinsing bowls

2 colored small ditto

2 blue rinsing bowls

2 ditto

1 octagonal small rinsing bowl

1 large colored rinsing bowl

2 blue rinsing bowl

2 ditto

1 ditto with a brown rim

2 porcelain rinsing bowls

2 smaller ditto

A brown rinsing bowl

Total bowls: 40

spoelkom - According to the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, a small bowl, usually earthenware, for rinsing cups. The 18th century tea service on the right (click to enlarge) has a spoelkom, the large bowl at the top of the image. It also has a teapot, a milk pitcher and a sugar bowl with tops, and eight cups with saucers. Note that the cups have no handles.

During the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, the host rinses the cups several times in this larger bowl.

page 109v 45 items

Things for tea and coffee

total: 372 cups 

29 *


page 110 45 items

12 pair brown tea things (theegoed)

12 pair ditto with Chinese, somewhat larger

6 pair blue tea things

12 1/2 pair brown coffee things (coffeegoed), 1 cup damaged

5 brown cups and 8 saucers

2 pair Japanese

2 pair enameled (geamalieerd,) various

6 ribbed saucers* (geribde bakjes), 1 damaged

3 saucers with gold rims

3 unpaired plates and 1 damaged cup

6 pair brown Japanese coffee things

6 pair brown coffee things

6 pair ditto smaller

15 pair blue porcelain tea things

6 blue cups and 6 saucers*

6 pair enameled, with green, 1 damaged saucer*

6 saucers* with the portrait of Leeuwenhoek

6 ditto* with the coat of arms of the same

12 white cups (koppen)

6 blue cups somewhat smaller

24 1/2 pair blue octagonal

13 ribbed saucers and 12 colored cups

12 pair tea things, blue with gold

16 blue saucers and 15 cups, fishermen (vissertjes)

12 pair Japanese

12 pair tea things, blue and white

7 1/2 pair blue with fishermen

11 ribbed saucers and 12 colored cups

6 pair Japanese tea things with gold

6 pair ribbed, brown outsides

6 pair blue and brown

6 pair Japanese

6 1/2 pair blue and white with young roosters (haantjes)

18 pair with brown outsides

6 pair Japanese

10 pair blue and white

5 1/2 pair puppet things (poppegoed)

4 pair colored

6 large ribbed saucers and 6 cups

2 concave saucers*

12 saucers and 10 blue cups

9 saucers and 4 cups ditto

14 colored saucers

6 pair brown

5 pair ditto

6 pair blue

4 pair ditto

12 blue saucers

8 saucers with little crabs (krabbetjes)

8 saucers and 5 cups blue

7 pair octagon

18 brown cups

6 saucers with roses (roosjes)

4 pair blue tea things

3 pair blue

3 unpaired concave saucers* blue

2 flat ditto, 2 ditto

2 ditto brown ribbed

2 brown ditto

4 saucers* various

The pairs are one cup and one matching saucer. For the five items marked 1/2, there's no indication which half, the cup or the saucer, so I arbitrarily counted them as three cups and two saucers.

The references to gold probably refer to a gold rim around the cup or saucer.

schoteltjes and bakjes - I'm not sure what distinction the notaries were making here, so I am calling them all saucers but marking the bakjes with an asterisk. Because six had portraits of Leeuwenhoek and six his coat of arms, perhaps the bakjes were shallower or didn't have as much of an indentation for the cup?

vissertjes - it means little fishermen. Perhaps such figures decorated the saucers?






Total: 58

page 110v 46 items


12 colored cups

4 cups with blue outsides

6 blue cups

5 large ditto

4 ditto

2 octagonal cups

3 small cups

2 ditto

2 ditto

2 ditto

2 ditto

6 pair colored tea ? (theegoed)

6 pair blue and white

6 pair brown

6 trays and 4 cups blue

4 cups, 1 brown ditto



Total: 42

2 brown Japanese teapots (trekpotten)

3 Japanese teapots with feet painted gold

2 ditto without feet

2 blue teapots, various

1 blue teapot

A colored ditto

2 white teapots

2 square blue ditto

1 ditto six-sided

2 unpaired teapots, the one damaged

3 colored teapots enameled

1 small test pot (proefpotje)

2 red teapots

5 ditto with silver chains

2 ditto without chains

2 red teapots with standing clasps

2 large round teapots

2 six-sided ditto

1 round ditto

1 small red six-sided ditto

1 teapot without top

2 red teapots

Miscellaneous (inventory pages 110v and 111)

Total: 97

Milk pitchers

1 large Engelse milk kan?

2 ditto smaller


3 alabaster images

6 little ducks (pulletjes): 6 ditto

12 ditto

41 little dolls of people and animals (mannetjes and beesjes)

6 earthen dolls of people (aarde mannetjes)

12 little ducks

17 little dolls of people and animals

Salt and pepper: 10

2 pepper boxes (peperbosjes)

2 salt shakers (vatjes)

6 porcelain speckled horns (gespikkelde hoorntjes)