Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mason’s Marks

Mason’s marks are very common symbols on natural building stone of old buildings. The size is few centimeters up to 20 cm or more. They appear in two types, one type is layout or bench marks that were necessary to erect the building. Others are signature or trademarks as a personal sign of a mason. In southern Germany, they can be found on buildings of late gothic to early renaissance age (13th to 16th century), but they are also known from older and younger times and from ancient cultures, like the Old Egypt or the Roman Empire. They are irregular distributed on building walls, sometimes several different symbols can be found on a wall, other walls are free of them. 
The purpose of mason's marks is unclear, on theory say that the mason marks the last stone of the day work, to show the amount of his work for claiming money. Maybe they just some personal marks that show other masons who made the work. The theory that they should show the origin of the stone is not plausible, because there are different stones marked with the same symbol (in contrast to some ancient cultures, there is proved that the marks were used by quarry owners). Another theory, that says that they should indicate the position of the stone in the building, does also not work; often there are many different symbols on simple walls. The photos are samples from old churches in Nuremberg. 

Simple Mason's Mark
A simple Mason's Mark.

Mason's Mark
Amost an inscription.

Mason's Mark
Weathered letters.

Mason's Mark
A typical form of a mason's mark.

Mason's Mark

Mason's Mark

Mason's Mark

Mason's Mark

Mason's Mark

Mason's Mark
This could be a layout mark.

Mason's Mark

Mason's Mark
This is a layout mark.
Linked with Macro Monday.

6 comments:

  1. Well captured these brands, very interesting a topic!

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  2. Interesting post nicely captured.

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  3. The mason's marks seem to be like a symbol. Fascinating shapes and even more fascinating is the elusive reason why.

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  4. Interessant! Und ich hab wieder was gelernt! :) Danke dir!

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  5. Fascinating marks. Thanks for sharing.

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