The Guild Communities



On June 3, 1676, 30 Bordeaux guilds participated in a public procession in honor of the feast of Corpus Christi.1 The city’s master glove-makers marched in the 16th position, followed by the parchment-makers (20th), and the cobblers who proceeded three places behind them. Each guild deputation was led by the bearer of the trade community’s armorial guild banner, which depicted the guild’s colors and symbols. The master shoemaker’s standard displayed a gold boot flanked by two gold fleur-de-lis on a blue background. Meanwhile, the bearing of the community of master tanners portrayed two crossed silver tanner’s knives on a sable background, whereas the cobbler’s armorial seal bore three gold-handled silver knives on a sable background.2 These guild banners, displaying the tools and wares of their professions, clearly expressed the economic function of the trade corporations, but the craftsmen’s participation in these processions also served to publicly acknowledge and project their identity, status, and unity within the corporate society of orders.


Eighteenth Century Trade Community Legal Feis Patron Saint Guild Member 
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© Daniel Heimmermann 2014

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