Thursday, July 10, 2008

No lack of self-esteem here

Back before Strasbourg became part of France (in 1689, I believe) it was governed by a council made up representatives from the local guilds: the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, not to mention the barrel manufacturers, tanners and brewers. These groups ran the city and provided men for the militias that defended the people of the town from the attentions of Medieval warlords.

As a nod to their importance in the city's history, the traditional banners of the ancient guilds are hanging over Rue du dentelles. Most of these either contain geometric patterns or literal representations of the guilds main business: fish for the fisherman, a barrel for the tonneliers and a bunch of carrots for the gardeners guild.

My favourite banner by far, is this one for the baker's guild. It strikes me as being comically self-important, and I can only imagine that it must have been designed with tongue at least partially in cheek. I like to imagine a heraldic specialist describing it thusly: Argent, crowned lion rampant, bearing baguette and pretzel, unsalted.


JC Martin & the Gents Akimbo said...

That would be a gules lion rampant with coronet; pretzel sinister, baguette dexter. I have no idea what "Les Boulangers" means. They're just making stuff up now.

Mark Reynolds said...

You just know that the other guilds were totally jealous that they hadn't come up something equally badass: like a gardening dragon, for instance, or a barrel with racing stripes.

jc martin & rumour mongers said...

A barrel with racing stripes would have been totally cool, but coopers know dick all about cool: I mean, that's what the kids in the fishmongers' guild said.