Der Uhrmacher

  • Translation

Article ID DB0290


Der Uhrmacher


Representation of a watchmaker


ca. 1870


Rapin de Thoyras (1661-1725)

Paul de Rapin de Thoyras ( 1661 – 1725), sieur of Thoyras (and therefore styled Thoyras de Rapin), was a French historian writing under English patronage. The son of Jacques de Rapin, an avocat at Castres (Tarn), he was educated at the Protestant Academy of Saumur, and in 1679 became an advocate, but soon afterwards joined the army. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and the death of his father led him to move to England; but, unable to find work there, he went on to the Netherlands where he enlisted in a company of French volunteers at Utrecht, commanded by his cousin, Daniel de Rapin. He accompanied William III to England in 1688, and during the Williamite war in Ireland he took part in the Siege of Carrickfergus and the Battle of the Boyne, and was wounded at the Siege of Limerick (1690). Soon afterwards he was promoted to captain; but in 1693 he resigned in order to become tutor to the Earl of Portland's son. After travelling with the boy, he settled with his family (he married Marie-Anne Testart in 1699) in Holland, first at the Hague, then,at Wesel, in 1707.

Historical Description

In classical Greece, craftsmanship (téchnai banausikaí, hence our modern word "banause") was not highly regarded, especially in the larger poleis. His main argument against the craft is the work inside a workshop. In the early Middle Ages, which were largely rural, crafts that later became specialized, such as the processing of foodstuffs, the production of textiles, or the making of utensils and buildings from wood, still played a vanishingly small role compared to home production. Special work techniques, such as bronze casting, painting and sculpture, were tied to monasteries. It was not until the High Middle Ages and the formation of cities that urban centers regained their ancient significance. The manufactured goods were offered for sale at markets or exhibited and sold in workshops and stores. An exceptional role was played by master builders and stonemasons who, moving from one (church) building lodge to the next, spread skills, innovations and stylistic developments across territorial borders. From the 16th to the 18th century, professional regulations, for example on the apprenticeship period, the apprenticeship fee, the journeyman's piece, the rolling or the master craftsman's examination, continued to increase with the rise in complexity of professional concepts and progressive specialization. The contemporary Estates literature recorded the most important trades, tasks, objects of work, and tools of the trade. Itinerant journeymen learned, handed down and disseminated different working techniques. Work certificates of the craftsmen were often calligraphically artistically designed craft lore. Craftsmanship had a proverbial golden bottom. The choice of profession was mostly made according to the order of status. Women, Jews, people born out of wedlock and the offspring of the so-called honorless were often denied access to traditional crafts. In accordance with economic needs, the development of certain technologies and the tastes of the time, new professions such as book printers, engravers, organ builders or wigmakers flourished in addition to traditional crafts such as butchers or goldsmiths. Inspired by the French Revolution and the industrialization that followed, freedom of trade slowly took hold in 19th-century Europe, granting every citizen the right to practice a craft of his or her own choice. In 1810, freedom of trade was introduced in Prussia; later, on June 21, 1869, freedom of trade was further extended by imperial law. Every citizen was now entitled to establish a craft business. In 1897 and 1908, the trade regulations were finally amended; today, they are generally regarded as the foundation of the dual system of vocational training.

Dimensions (cm)14,5 x 13,5
ConditionVery good
TechniqueWood engraving


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