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date: 16 December 2019

Guild of St Lukelocked

  • Anne Beetem Acker


Craft guild embracing harpsichord builders in some European cities, especially in the Low Countries. It was named after St Luke, the patron of painters, and like other guilds was originally a religious organization which evolved into a regulatory and protective association. In Antwerp, the Sint Lucasgilde can be traced back to 1382 and kept records until its closure in 1773. Besides harpsichord builders, its members included painters, gilders, carvers, printers, cabinet makers, and certain other specialists, as well as persons engaged in some seemingly unrelated trades. Notably, women were allowed in the Antwerp guild, but this was uncommon elsewhere. The guild protected its members against outside competition, set standards for workmanship, and regulated training and prices, among other functions. A surviving contract shows that Goosen Karest, although already a journeyman painter for eight years, entered a three-year apprenticeship with his brother, the harpsichord maker Joes Karest, in 1537. Goosen was required to work only for Joes, to provide for his own living, to work 11 to 14 hours per day, by candlelight if necessary, with a 90-minute midday break, and to make up any lost time at the end of the three years, in return for a small daily wage but not room and board....

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