Rattle, whistle and teething stick; c. 17th century; XEC.400


Rattle, whistle and teething stick

About this object

This is an all-in-one infant soother which incorporates a rattle, whistle and teething stick. Amazingly, it dates from around the 17th century (1600s) and is part of the collection at Ewelme Cottage in Parnell, Auckland. Ewelme Cottage was built in 1863/1864 and its original owner was Reverend Vicesimus Lush. He and his wife Blanche had nine children, four of whom died of scarlet Ffever during their childhood. It is likely that this rattle was passed between the Lush children, and was an easy way of keeping the baby entertained while the other children were looked after.

The rattle is made from gold metal decorated with flowers and leaves and is fitted with eight ball bells. The jingle jangle sound of the bells would have soothed as well as entertained the little baby who would have also been able to bite down on the teething stick which is made from a red coloured coral. There is also a whistle attached to the end of the rattle which may have been delightfully fun for the infant, but may have eventually become a source of slight annoyance for those around.

For more information about the Lush family and Ewelme Cottage, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Date Made

c. 17th century

Medium and Materials

Metal and coral



Subject and Association Keywords


Credit Line

Collection of Ewelme Cottage, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number



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EMIL FONFONEATA 16 Jan 2020 14:47 PM,UTC

This is not 17th century baby rattle, but a goed midden 18th century, probably London baby rattle :-)

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