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- Date of production 1912
- Place of creation Kęty, Poland
- Dimensions height: 36.5 cm, length: 26 cm, width: 2.2 cm
- ID no. MK/H/19
- Object copyright Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska’s Virtual Museums project
This guild sign, in the shape of a cross, from the guild of tailors in Kęty, was made in 1912. Such signs were called, among others: obesłania, bieguny, cechy . They served as messages, calling tradesmen belonging to the guild for deliberations. Obviously, the guild brothers were also informed about the funerals and ecclesiastical and secular holidays in which they were obliged to participate.more
This guild sign, in the shape of a cross, from the guild of tailors in Kęty, was made in 1912. Such signs were called, among others: obesłania, bieguny, cechy . They served as messages, calling tradesmen belonging to the guild for deliberations. Obviously, the guild brothers were also informed about the funerals and ecclesiastical and secular holidays in which they were obliged to participate. Being absent from a meeting or celebration communicated by this sign, without giving a valid reason, incurred a high penalty. According to the statute of the guild of the tailors, to whom this sanction belonged, the penalty for absence was to deliver one pound of wax to the guild, from which candles for the guild’s altar were smelted. Most often, the youngest foreman — who was also supposed to give an oral message — was sent with the summons, and the validity of his words authenticated the deposition. The transfer of the guild sign without a messenger was also practised, by sending it from workshop to workshop. Sometimes, however, one of the masters forgot to pass it on to the next workshop, which put him at risk of punishment.
Guilds of craftsmen were mostly of Christian character; therefore, the signs and symbols often referred to religion. The tailors in Kęty acted in a similar fashion, giving their mark the shape of the cross. The arms of the cross have tri-foliate endings. Additional decoration is also provided in the form of small flowers. On the shoulders, there were also — something commonly practiced when decorating examination certificates — the images of tools used by the craftsmen. For tailors, it was: a needle, scissors and an iron. In the upper part of the cross, there is a bas-relief depicting a coat as an example of craftsmanship. The image was made in such detail that even the buttons are visible. The frequently used Christogram — “IHS” — was also applied to the guild signs. The guild sign of the tailors’ guild is made of wood. It has a comfortable grip at the bottom, thanks to which the messenger could safely carry the sign so that everyone could see it. Right next to the handle is the date “1912” and the initials “AT”, probably belonging to the artist who made the sign, but his identity cannot be determined
Elaborated by the Aleksander Kłosiński Museum in Kęty, © all rights reserved