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Stained Glass

The ropemakers' banquet

Key data

dated 1615

Attributed to Hieronymus Vischer, Basle

Height 55.5 cm, width 56 cm

Inv. 1901.42.


Every Basle guild had a drinking room in its guildhall which was specially provided for festive occasions and convivial gatherings of guild brothers and their fellow tradesmen. From the C16, drinking and eating round the table became a popular theme in stained glass, especially in panels made for guilds and societies. This panel dated 1615 provides a glimpse into the drinking room of the Zunfthaus zu Gartnern, showing 14 rope makers belonging to the corporation in traditional Swiss dress with feathers in their hats and with Swiss daggers sitting round a lavishly decked table. Beneath the main scene are the 14 coats of arms of the donors; two herm figures appear at the sides. Above there is a picture in grisaille, showing a rope making workshop: exhaustively illustrating its progress from the breaking of the hemp to the twisting of the rope, it is an important pictorial source for the history of the craft.

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