Baby rattles

As well as its magnificent bookbinding, Michel Wittock’s collection also includes a unique and very unusual collection of some 500 rattles, given to him by his cousin Idès Cammaert. This remarkable ensemble comes from more than 30 countries on the 4 continents and covers a period of over 40 centuries.

The baby’s rattle can be considered as the oldest toy in the world, often serving as a baby’s dummy or teething stick. For thousands of years, it was also used as an amulet that protected the baby against illness and evil spells.

Further information about the Michel Wittock Fund
Website Bibliotheca Wittockiana

Material / technique: 
Silver or gold with ivory, coral, mother-of-pearl, rock crystal or ebony
Type of acquisition: 
Donated by Michel Wittock
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Bibliotheca Wittockiana, Brussels