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Guild tile

Azulejo gremial

Nº inv.: CE1/02153

This tile is decorated in cobalt blue over a white background. It shows, diagonally from end to end, a tease comb, an emblem of the clothier’s guild, and jagged leaves on the borders. There are also tiles bearing scissors that are symbols of the same guild. Both tools have been symbols of the guild ever since King John I of Aragon granted them as a coat of arms in 1395. However, its existence as a guild dates much further back. A clothier’s job was to fix the fabrics produced by fullers and shearers : they cleaned imperfections and stretched the fabric on tenterhooks. Fabrics had to conform to standardised measurements and it was strictly prohibited to use cast-iron combs - only those made from teasel plants were permitted.

This tile comes from the ruins of a guild house on calle Quart in Valencia, which survived until the mid- 20th century. It formed part of a mid-15th century paving in which square tiles with combs and scissors were probably combined with other, hexagonal, fired tiles. In fact, the names of the roads in that area of the city refer to activities related to wool, such as calle “Tirador” (Thrower Street), “calle dels Teixidors” (Street of the Weavers) and “calle la Carda” (Comb Street).

The museum holds many examples of tiles from other guilds, as well as heraldic tiles.

On display in the Sala de la cerámica arquitectónica medieval (Medieval Architectural Ceramics Room), second floor.

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