Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Year in Pictures – 17 February 2015 – The Clothworkers' Company

The Hall of The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, one of "The Great Twelve" livery companies of the City of London stands in Dunster Court, off Mincing Lane. We have already met one of the Gryphons that adorns the pillars of the gateway into Dunster Court and its companion is visible in this photograph.

The Clothworkers were established in the Middle Ages in days when licence to engage in a craft was tightly controlled and fields of work were highly stratified. While the crest on the Clothworkers' coat of arms is a ram in recognition that without sheep there would be no making of cloth, "clothworking" was not the weaving of woollen cloth but rather the carding of woven cloth to raise the nap of it and produce a fine finish. That is why a teasel is shown in the coat of arms and bristling teasels feature heavily in the iconography of this particularly livery company. The two hooks on the shield are "habicks": the pincers used to hold cloth steady on the surface where it was being worked.

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