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THE BREAD BAKER’S SAINT
& THE BAKER’S GUILD OF BRUSSELS
VAN VEEN, G. D.. Alsoo Myne Heeren die Wethouderen deser Stadt Brussele op den 16. Februarii 1719, aen die van het Broodt-maeckers Ambacht …. Brussels, Antonius Claudinot, 1719.
Folio [42.5 x 32.6 cm], (1) f. letterpress broadside, with woodcut seal of Brussels and woodcut initial. Retaining deckle edges, horizontal folds, some toning and edge wear, inscription on verso. [With] ANONYMOUS. [Drawing of St. Honoratus]. [Brussels?], s.n., [18th century]. 4to [27.2 x 14.2 cm], (1) f. pen-and-ink drawing with yellow and blue-gray wash. Minor marginal wrinkling and staining, number ‘38’ inscribed at upper right corner, stamp of Arenberg on verso. Here mounted as a pair.
$1,950 A fine pen-and-ink drawing and a very rare letterpress broadside, both relating to the baker’s trade in 18th-century Brussels. The drawing depicts St. Honoratus of Amiens (d. c. 600), a bishop saint who came to be especially venerated by bakers in France following the donation of land by the Parisian baker Renaud Cherins in 1202 to build a chapel in the saint’s honor (the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris still carries his name today). Louis XIV further cemented Honoratus’ popularity in 1659 when he decreed that bakers observe the saint’s feast day (16 May) and give alms in his honor. The present drawing is a fanciful design for a finial (for a liturgical object or an architectural element) depicting St. Honoratus with his bishop’s miter standing atop a (wonderfully rococo) oven attended by two bakers. One baker inserts balls of dough into the oven on his long wooden peel, while the other carries a basket of finished loaves on his head; three loaves at Honoratus’ feet serve as the saint’s attribute. The drawing, numbered ‘38’ at the upper right, was perhaps part of a series of fanciful designs of patron saints and their attributes, but its source and the identity of the artist who created it remain a mystery.
Included with the drawing is a broadside relating to the ordinances of the Baker’s Trade (Broodt-maeckers Ambacht) in Brussels, date 17 June, 1719. The broadside his headed by a woodcut seal of the city of Brussels depicting St. Michel and labeled (altering the famous Roman motto) “S.P.Q.B.”
OCLC and KVK locate no copies of the broadside.
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