Painted Cradle, 1710-1740
Essex County, Mass.
Wood, paint
Gift of Mrs. Jacob C.R. Peabody
Peabody Essex Museum 120447

"In the colonial period, rocking was deemed an essential activity to establish a newborn baby's sleeping pattern. In a harsh world with a high infant mortality rate, sleep was key to survival. A hooded cradle with high sides also provided protection from drafts."

Kevill-Davies, Yesterday's Children, 106-110; Dean Fales, American Painted Furniture, 78.

Quoted from ARTscape entry on the Peabody Essex Museum website: http://www.pem.org.