Thursday, October 29, 2020

Guild Arms on the Jacob van Artevelde Monument in Ghent

Completely encircling (and I do mean literally all the way around) the plinth of the Jacob van Artevelde monument in Vrijdagmarkt Square in the city of Ghent, Belgium, is a plethora of shields of the arms of the various guilds (I recommend clicking on the images here to see a larger, more detailed copy). To wit (and walking clockwise around the monument):

And, of course, I took separate pictures of the shields, one large and three smaller above it, on each of the squared-off "corners" of the plinth:

Many of the guild arms are identifiable simply from their display of the tools of the trade they represent, e.g., the shuttles for the weavers, the wheel and tools of the wheelwrights, the leatherworkers, the masons, the pewterers, etc.

Others are not so clear-cut (e.g., is the dolphin the fishmongers or the fishermen, or something else?). For another example, the large shield immediately below (Gules a cross of Jerusalem or) is the arms of the St-Joris Kruisboog, or St. George Crossbow guild.

And if you stand back a bit and take in the entire monument, it is an impressive display of heraldry!

Don't you agree?

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