Baking pattern

Signed WF, Basle, 17th century
height 26 cm, width 33.5 cm
Inv. 1894.371.

4116px x 4520px
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Basle's heraldic emblem, the Basle crosier, is based formally and no doubt historically on the bishop's staff. It achieved its classic form, with crook, knob and three spines, in the third quarter of the C14. Lions appeared as supporters about 1400, notably on the outer side of the Spalentor; wild men supporters appear on the escutcheon of a 'Bannwart' (field warden) of about 1470/80, and angels or puth were also used. Since the end of the C15 the basilisk has accompanied the Basle coat of arms, as on this baking form pattern. Why is not known; the similarity of the names Basle/basilisk may have played a part. There was no very clear conception of the monster, witness the fact that in 1474 the Basle executioner put to death a cock pregnant with an egg which otherwise would have brought forth a basilisk! Copies after this pattern, with its Baroque fruit and blossoms promising happiness and wealth, were used by Basle pastrycooks to produce the marzipan covering of gingerbread, and are still used today to make the traditional white 'Anisbrot' (aniseed bread).

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