Thursday, 18 August 2016

Details of the scapradekijn from Köln

My previous post told about our project to make a scapradekijn or hanging cupboard for Castle Muiderslot (Muiden, the Netherlands). It also showed two of these hanging cupboards that are at the Museum fur angewandte Kunst in Cologne (which I visited several years ago). I wondered if I could get some more information from the museum curator and tried my luck with an email. And yes, after a few weeks the reply came, together with a bunch of photos that showed the hanging cupboard from different angles those found in books. Curiously, the curator, Mr. Werner Nett, mentioned that the museum owned only one hanging cupboard, even though the museum catalogue showed two. The item number (A 988) of the second cupboard I had enquired appeared to be a painting. I do hope that this cupboard is somewhere on loan to another museum, else they have a problem of missing museum property!

The front of the hanging cupboard (Inv. Nr. A 136). There is a small difference between my photo of the hanging cupboard and this one. My photo showed some damage in the top middle window, whereas this one is complete. 
 Photo copyright W. Nett, MAK Koln.

One of the sides of the hanging cupboard. The sides are fastened to the front by iron strips. 
Photo copyright W. Nett, MAK Koln.

Anyway, I am very grateful that they took the other hanging cupboard from the wall and made photos from all sides, taking care of a blanc background. Surprisingly, this medieval cupboard is no different from modern Ikea furniture. The sides that you see are good quality, while the back is made up of cheap material. In other words: the front and sides are made from sturdy oak panels, and the 'invisible' back is made from pine. 

The backside consists of two pine boards that are nailed to the sides of the cupboard. 
At the top space for two hangers can be seen. Photo copyright W. Nett, MAK Koln.
 The top of the hanging cupboard. You can see that the decorative rail is fastened against the front panels. The front panel is sawn away in places where the decorative rail has the X-decoration. Of course there is no supporting front panel at the cupboard door. The back is supported by an extra piece of wood. Photo copyright W. Nett, MAK Koln.

Also interesting is that the thickness of the panels varies between 12 to 16 mm (no medieval thicknesser). The construction of the cupboard is simple, consisting of nailed butt joints. The backside falls within a rabbet. Likely, the shelves fit into a groove. The information provided by Werner Nett and his photos have been very helpful for our design and construction of the scapradekijn for the Muiderslot. Many thanks!

Detail from the side/front construction. The piece of iron on top is a modern replacement. The edge is rounded.  
Photo copyright W. Nett, MAK Koln.

The bottom shows two remaining of the four forged nails from the iron strip. 
The sides are nailed with smaller nails to the front panel. Photo copyright W. Nett, MAK Koln.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. A mover from Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with medieval furniture. I guess your brains were buried in the sand.