During the eighteenth Century the use of silver objects by Dutch households became more common. The bread basket beame very popular. The large bread baskets were of heavy quality and often by the best craftsmen of Holland like Isacq Samual Busard and Engelbert Joosten from The Hague.
Bread baskets are a typical Dutch product. England produced bread baskets but these were often circular with a swing handle in contrast to the Dutch mainly oval shaped baskets. During the first half of the nineteenth Century fewer bread baskets were produced and the oblong cake-basket became en vogue and may have been used for cake and bread. A breadbasket with swing handle is illustrated in K.A Citroen et.al., Meesterwerken in zilver, Amsterdams zilver 1520-1820, Lochner, 1984, no. 234, p. 185.
The present basket by Diederik Willem Rethmeyer has been executed in the Dutch Louis XVI style. This style is characterised by symmetry of design and classical motifs in the manner French as a reaction to the elaborated Rococo. Further stimulated by excavations in the Roman towns Pompeii and Herculaneum in the 1740s and 1750s initiated by wealthy English and French amateur-archaeologists known as 'dilletanti'.
Diederik Willem Rethmeyer (Amsterdam) was born at Lehrte (Germany). He became a silversmith in 1785 in Amsterdam, where he worked until his death in 1821. Rethmeyer was a large and small worker. He made in an enormous quantity trays, candlesticks, tea- and coffee services, fishslices and bread baskets (K.A. Citroen, Amsterdams zilversmeden en hun merken, Amsterdam, 1975, pp.42; Duyvene Wit-Klinkhamer et.al., Geschiedenis van het Nederlands Zilver, Amsterdam, 1958, pp. 44-46, 61, 62; J. Verbeek, Nederlands zilver 1780-1830, Lochem, 1984, pp. 25-30).