Medieval and Modern times: workers of different professions
Among the professions shown in The Book of Twelve Brothers, there are a lot of builders. Yes, this is understandable; people need a roof over their heads to live. But besides them, members of the Mendel and Landauer brotherhood were also involved in many other things...
Book of Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach 40:18
Documents stories. Today we continue our acquaintance with the professions of people from the Book of the Twelve Brothers. Among them there are many that are repeated from year to year and century to century. Moreover, practically nothing changes in their tools. But there were also very rare ones among them, which are found on its pages literally once.
Brother Kunz, driver. Stands next to a saddled lead horse and brandishes a whip. Horses pull a two-axle cart, on which there are tied bales, but only half of it is visible. 1425. (Amb. 317.2° Folio 32 verso (Mendel I))
The most important areas of human activity at all times have been transport and communications. Communication using messengers has already been discussed here, now it’s time to talk about transport. Moreover, land transport, since in the “Book of Twelve Brothers” only the profession of a driver is mentioned. Without a doubt, the role of the horse-drawn cart in the Middle Ages was exceptionally great, since Western Europe simply did not know any other land mobile transport at that time - only two and four-wheeled carts, which were harnessed either to horses or oxen and mules.
Leopold Karrenman, also a member of the fraternity and also a teamster. Obviously, he will have to sit on the horse while moving, since it is saddled. The two-wheeled cart is equipped with wicker sides. 1425. (Amb. 317.2° Folio 27 verso (Mendel I))
Almost all heavy loads were transported by carts of various types: wagons, wagons, carts, and in winter - on sledges. For such work, special, strong and hardy horses were required. A horse-drawn horse might not be too tall, but he was certainly strong and undemanding to care and food.
Stefan Krapf, a carter, and in an illustration from The Book of the Twelve Brothers he loads his two-wheeled cart with sand while his saddled horse rests. 1554. (Amb. 317b.2° Folio 6 recto (Mendel II))
Strong heavy-duty horses were also harnessed to a horse-drawn palanquin, a popular means of transportation in the Middle Ages. However, judging by the illustrations in The Book of the Twelve Brothers, fraternity brothers were not hired for such work. They transported mainly cargo within the city - goods, as well as building materials, for example, the same sand, as shown in one of the illustrations.
Hans Freyholz, cart master. He stands in his workshop near a wooden block and uses an ax to cut a knitting needle out of a wooden block. On the left is a wheel with spokes and a hub. The master's tools hang on hooks on the wall: an axe, two drills and two knives. There is a cart in the yard, still without wheels. 1584 (Amb. 317b.2° Folio 40 verso (Mendel II))
The work of the carters was provided by craftsmen who made carts and wheels. The work was difficult and responsible. After all, the same wheel rim at that time was made only of wood, and it had to be not only round, but also very durable. The spokes of the wheel and its hub were also made of wood. All these parts needed to be adjusted to one another in such a way as to ensure maximum strength to the connection. Naturally, oak wood was used for critical parts of the cart. At the same time, the wagon made from it should not have been very heavy either. Two-axle carts are more complicated than single-axle carts, since the front axle on such a cart must be rotary. In addition, to increase agility, the size of the front wheel should be one and a half to two times smaller than the rear. However, judging by the image in the “Book of the Twelve Brothers”, the cart of the driver Kunz does not yet have such a rotary axis.
By the way, cart axles at that time were also wooden. The metal in the carts of that time was used only for the bare minimum of nails, and even wheel rims, which protected the wood from destruction when colliding with the road.
Jörg Starts, a brotherhood member and innkeeper who is mentioned in the text above the illustration itself as the host who also serves his guests in the tavern. His guests are clearly not of ordinary rank, since they have boots with spurs on their feet, sit around a table covered with a white tablecloth, in the middle of which there is a dish of fried chicken and two smaller plates, as well as round sliced bread. The guest sitting on the left holds a knife in his hand, and the one sitting at the table in the middle raises his glass. 1470. (Amb. 317.2° Folio 88 verso (Mendel I))
The brotherhood of Mendel and Landauer united people from a wide variety of, sometimes even quite exotic, professions. At the same time, it is difficult to imagine a more common occupation at that time than the profession of an innkeeper. However, it was difficult to call it easy. It was necessary to have time to serve the guests, and to make arrangements in the kitchen, and to go to the cellar for wine - in a word, you just had time to turn around. That’s why we don’t see so many innkeepers in the illustrations from The Book of the Twelve Brothers.
Jörg Koppell. Brother comber, that is, a master maker of combs for combing hair. He is depicted sitting at his work desk and cutting out another comb with a thin file. The finished combs lie in front of him on the table and in the basket. On the floor, next to the work table, is a large vise. It appears that this brother used to be a hunter, because there is a large dog next to him, and again a hunter with a dog is visible in the window. In addition, on the wall of the workshop, the terrace of which faces the lake, hangs a gun with a powder flask and a bow. 1575. (Amb. 317b.2° Folio 34 recto (Mendel II))
The comb maker was a respected person, and most importantly, his products, although not expensive, were in constant demand. The fact is that one of the problems of the New Age was ... insects that nested in people's hair. They fought them in different ways, one of which was to comb the hair with combs with very narrow cuts between the teeth. Such combs were made from wood, but more often they used cattle horn and such rather exotic material as turtle shell. Combs also served as hairpins for lush women's hairstyles. By the way, in his free time from work, Brother Jörg apparently walked through the forests with a dog and a arquebus and shot himself game.
Wolfgang Geigenfeind, a member of the fraternity, is committed to treating people with cans. Wolfgang and his patient are dressed only in tight black panties and a yellow cap. In his left hand he holds an oil lamp, with which he places copper jars on the patient's back. It's hard to say why there are three tubs of water on the floor, but apparently they have something to do with the treatment. 1612 (Amb. 317b.2° Folio 80 verso (Mendel II))
Well, the doctor Wolfgang Geigenfeind is the only one like him. Apparently, there was simply no one else who would dare to do such a thing. Well, there could be a variety of reasons. Noteworthy is the underwear of both the doctor himself and his patient - a very modern cut... swimming trunks!
Hans, a member of the brotherhood, sits at his desk and holds a finished folding ivory sundial in his left hand. In his right hand he holds a compass. Interestingly, the watch has a built-in compass to determine the correct position of the sun. Therefore, on the table there are also compass hands and two other folding ivory sundials. The hourglass is attached to the wall. The view from the window is unusual. There we see a tent and a man armed with an oriental-looking saber. It is difficult to say what this has to do with the watchmaker from Nuremberg. 1631 (Amb. 317b.2° Folio 108 verso (Mendel II))
The only one in the "Book of the Twelve Brothers" and Hans Tutscher - a master in the manufacture of sundials with a compass built into them. But what is surprising here is not even the very design of this watch, by the way, very original, but why among the masters of the brotherhood there were no “real watchmakers”, manufacturers of mechanical watches. After all, at the beginning of 1510, the German master from Nuremberg, Peter Henlein, made a mechanical watch with one hand, which even received the name ... "Nuremberg Egg". In 1541, their production takes place in Geneva, and pocket watches acquire a flat shape. In the first half of the XNUMXth century, the clock face was covered with glass, a watch with a lid appeared, in a double case, decorated with enamel.
So watch production of the not so archaic sundial could well have taken place in Nuremberg in 1631. But for some reason there were no masters of mechanical watches among the brothers of the brotherhood Mendel and Landauer at this time. But sundials were in demand, and were made by one of the brothers!
Hans Mayer. He is also a member of the brotherhood, but his personality is quite mysterious, since it is not said about him what exactly he does, although a description of him is given. "Mayer sits or stands at a table over a blank book spread. He is dressed in an elegant button-down caftan with a white cut-out collar, and his cap is trimmed with lace. There is a richly decorated case on the table. Mayer is elegantly dressed and combed, he has fine features, which can be explained by his non-artisan background.". And that’s it, one can only guess about his occupation. 1637 (Amb. 279.2° Folio 112 verso (Landauer I))
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