Trade Guild Chest

The richly decorated Gingerbread Baker’s Chest is a symbol of a rich craft tradition. The Gingerbread Baker’s were one of many guilds that formed in the Middle Ages, building up communities and organising the crafts. The rules of the guilds ensured the preservation and passing on of the crafts. The system of rules became a tradition. Guild chests were an integral element of each guild, as they served to keep important documents. The trade regulations of 1859 marked the end of the guilds in Austria. The industrial revolution was accompanied by a change in the craft sector, knowledge of craft skills got lost and the passing on of intangible heritage became increasingly less important. Nevertheless, traditional crafts are still used today, which raises the question of value and significance anew.

Learn more about the object – click here

Time Period: 1500 – 1800 CE
Size: 41 x 60 x 31cm
Artist: Anonymous
Material: Inlaid wood
Institution: Graz Museum