On Saturday 7th February a new exhibition opened in Aberdeen’s Tolbooth Museum celebrating the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen. The seven trades are Hammermen, Bakers, Wrights and Coopers, Tailors, Shoemakers, Weavers and Fleshers.
The Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen is one of the most important institutions in the city of Aberdeen and it houses a collection of artefacts of international importance. The history of the individual Trades dates back to the medieval period when groups of craftsmen came together to protect their own interests, to create rules to regulate and manage their trade, elect a leader (Deacon), control quality of output, maintain their reputation and seek to look after the elderly and infirm of their trade.
Today the Trades are based in Trinity Hall, the third building of that name. Over the centuries they have amassed one of the most impressive collections of art, artefacts and furniture in Aberdeen. Many of these pieces were created as ‘essays’, or pieces of work, by individual craftsmen to show their eligibility to join their trade.