Archival Research

Panel makers and guilds

Panel maker’s petition and marks


Justin Davies

The petition of the panel makers in the Guild of Saint Luke is published here for the first time. The original documents, transcription and translation allow an important understanding of the role and rules of the Antwerp panel makers in constructing and marking their panels for the painters of the day. Their marks which they recorded on the petition can be found (most with some degree of variation) on the reverse of masterpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, Jacques Jordaens and other Flemish masters. From the time of the panel makers’ petition on 13 November 1617 to the issuing of the ordinance to the joiners on 11 December 1617 (available on this page) it became law for panels to be marked with a panel maker’s individual mark and also the hands and castle of Antwerp, as a sign that the elder of the panel makers approved them to be sold to painters. If not approved, he could break the panel.


Place and date
Antwerp, 13 November 1617

Archival reference
Antwerp City Archives, Guilds and Trades, 4346.

Transcribed by Ingrid Moortgat

How to cite: Moortgat, Ingrid. “Panel maker’s petition and marks (13 November 1617)” with an introduction by Justin Davies. In Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project. Edited by Joost Vander Auwera and Justin Davies. (accessed 8 December 2022)

© Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project (terms and conditions)

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13-11-1617/ 1

Vertooch ende demonstrantie van de
ambachte van de tafereelmaeckers,
spiegelcasmaeckers[1] ende weecke-
lijstmaeckers deser stadt
Antwerpen resorterende onder
Sinte Lucas gulde, aen mijne
eerwaarde heeren borgemeesteren
ende schepenen der zelver stadt.
Ten eynde dat de naervolgende
poincten ende ar[ticu]len tot gemeyne
beste ende ruste van degene der
zelver ambachten nu zijnde ende
naermaels wezende mogen worden
geordonneert ende gestatueert
ende die zij demonstranten met
gemeyn advys ende overdraegen
van den anderen naer voorgaende
deliberatie by hen daerop metten
tegenwoordighen ouderman der
zelver gehouden ende met adveys
van de dekens der voorseiden gulde
van Sinte Lucas alhier sonder
correctie van B[urgemeester] ende S[chepenen]. zijn
vuytdruckende ende specificerende
te wetene,

In den iersten datter niemant voortaen en sal
mogen gewijde worden in den ambachte van de
tafereelmaeckers ende weeckelijstmaeckers
hij en hebben ierst bij eenen vrijen meester de

[1] Spiegelcas: the timber frame of a mirror. See De Geïntegreerde TaalBank, Historische woordenboeken op internet,

Plea and protest from the trade of panel makers, mirror case makers and softwood frame makers of this city of Antwerp being part of the guild of St Luke, to my honourable messieurs burgomaster and aldermen of the same city. To the end that the following items and articles may be ordered and ordained to the common weal and rest of the members of the same trades, present and future, the which they, protesters, by common agreement and transfer from the other to the foregoing deliberation held by them on the subject with the current elder of the same, and with the agreement of the deans of the aforesaid guild of St Luke here without the  correction of B[urgomaster] and A[ldermen], are expressing and specifying, viz.:

First of all that henceforward no one may be inducted into the trade of panel makers and softwood frame makers without first having  learned with a free master for

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13-11-1617/ 2

tijt van twee continuelijck a jaeren dat geleert ende gedaen de
naervolgende proeven te weten, degene die
in hert hout wercken sullen moeten maecken
een panneel van sesse voeten lanck ende vijff
voeten breet wel gevoeght ende gelijmpt datter
nyet op te seggen en valle ende dyergelijcke lijsten
met vijsen, welcke proeve sal moeten geschieden
ten huijse van den dienenden ouderman ende daer-
nae op de camer van Sinte Lucas gulde geviseert
worden. Ende die in spiegelcasten ofte
weeckelijsten te maecken alleene selen willen
wercken, sullen ongehouden wesen eenighe
proeve te doene maer sullen gestaen midts
geleert hebbende den tijd van eenen jaere. Ende
gasten van buijten alhier commende, thoonende
bij attestatie behoirelijcken tyde geleert te
hebben ende de proeve alhier doende, sullen van
gelijcken de gulde ofte natie weerdich gerekent

Item dat egeene tafereelmaeckers en sullen
vermogen eenige gelijmde panneelen tzij b
groot oft cleyne …  …  …  … c vuijt
hunnen huijze te laeten gaen tenzij deselve
ierst ende vooral zijn gevisiteert ende gebranteeckent
bij den ouderman van denselven ambachte opdat men
mach versekert wesen dat in de voorseiden panneelen
geen speck, noch witten, noch royen worme in en
is op de pene van tweelff guldens voor ijeder
panneel. d

Item oft gebeurden dat int visiteren van de
voorseide panneelene by den ouderman eenige bevonde
daer speck, witten ofte royen worme inne waren,
sal den eygenaer van selve panneelen sonder
contradictie moeten toestaen dat op staenden … e
by den voorseiden ouderman werden gebroocken f …  .


a.Superscript: continuelijck. – b. Doorstreept: oft. – c. Een viertal doorstreepte, onleesbare woorden.- d. Volgt, na een witregel, de volgende doorstreepte zinssnede: Item opdat vergoedt mochte worden alle persoonen. – e. Doorstreept onleesbaar woord. – f. Superscript: gebroocken, daaronder een doorstreept onleesbaar woord.

a period of two continuousa years and to have done the following tests, viz. that those working in hard wood should be required to produce a panel six foot long and five foot wide, well jointed and glued so that there is nothing to be objected to and to frame the same with clamps, the which examination must take place at the house of the serving elder and thereafter be inspected in the chamber of the Guild of St Luke. And those who intend to make only mirror cases or softwood frames will not be required to take any examination but will be permitted after learning for one year. And persons coming from outside, showing an attestation of having learned for a proper time and proving the same here, will in the same way be included in the guild or natie.

Idem that no panel makers will be allowed to let any glued panels, be theyb large or small, c leave their houses without the same being first and foremost inspected and branded by the elder of the same trade, so that one may be sure that said panels do not contain sapwood, or white or red worm, and this on pain of twelve guilders per panel.d

Idem, if it happens that in inspecting said panels the elder finds any sapwood or white or red worms in them, the owner of said panels must without contradiction permit that these be broken. e immediatelye by said elder.g

a. Superscript: continuous. –  b. Struck through: either – c. Struck through:  four illegible words. – d.  Followed, after a blanc line, by a phrase, struck through: Idem so that may be paid all persons. – e. Superscript: broken, on top of an illegible word, struck through. – f. Illegible word, struck through. – g. Struck through: and fraud, which unfree persons might commit.

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13-11-1617/ 3

voordaeneh elck vrij meestere
gehouden wesen op de lijsten ende panneelen bij hem
gemaeckt, …i te slaen j, syn marck op de pene
van drije guldens.

Ende soo verre men naermaels bevondt eenige
panneelen gewit k, die nyet behoirelijck gewerdeert,
gebranteeckent ende geteeckent en waeren sullen
dezelve wesen verbeurt ende …l kunnende den ouderman m,
achterhalen den genen die deselve …  …  …n,  sonder voorgaende visitatie laet
doen witten sal  alsulcken persoon boven gr?cten o verbeuren de pene van xij fl … p.
Item omme voorder bedroch te schouwen sullen
voortaen sekere maeten van de panneelen op de
camere van Sinte Lucas gebrocht ende bewaert
worden, naementlijck de naervolgende
ordinarise maten te wetene,

De maten die men noempt
ordinarise te weten
dosyn wercken

van sessentwintich stuijvers
van guldens
van acht stuijvers
van stooters
ende van den halven stooter

Alles opdat alle panneelen op haere sekere
ende behoirlijcke deuchde q ende mate souden
gewrocht worden.

Blijvende voorts de schrijnwerkers op hun
geheel omme lijsten ende panneelen te mogen maecken
alsvoore, behoudelijck dat zij de panneelen


g. Doorstreept: ende bedroch dwelck onvrije zouden mogen, /commiteren. – h. Doorstreept: sal. – i. Onleesbaar, doorstreept. – j. Superscript: te slaen. – k. Superscript: gewit. – l. Onleesbaar, doorstreept. – m. Superscript: kunnende den ouderman. – n.  Interlineair:  een drietal doorstreepte en onleesbare woorden; superscript: deselve. – o. In de marge en laatste woord moeilijk leesbaar:  alsulcken persoon boven gr?cten. – p. Onleesbaar woord. – q. Doorstreept: gew. –

from henceforth every free masterh  be required j to strike his mark on the frames and panels made  by him j on pain of three guiders.

And in so far as hereafter one finds any whitened k panels that would have not been properly assessed, branded and signed, the same will be seized and l  should the elder be able  to find the person who has had these n same be whitened without previous inspection, such person on top  of o [illegible, struck through] > shall be fined 12 fl[orin = guilders] p

Idem, and in order to discourage fraud, from now on certain sizes of panels shall be brought and kept in the chamber of St Luke, viz. the following normal measures:

The measures which are named ordinarily viz.

dozen pieces

of twenty-six ‘stuivers’
of ‘guilders’
of eight ‘stuivers’
of ‘stooters’
and of the half ‘stooter’

And all this in order to guarantee that all panels be wrought at their firm and appropriate sound we(ight) q  quality and measure.

It remaining that cabinet makers as a whole are allowed to make frames and panels as before, except that when making the panels they

h. Struck through: shall.  – i. Superscript: to strike. – j. Illegible, struck through. – k. Superscript: whitened. – l. Illegible, struck through. – m. Superscript: should the elder be able. – n.  Three illegible words, struck through; superscript: same. – o. In margin: such person on top  of followed by a word that is difficult to read, struck through: br(o?)ken. – p.  Illegible. – q. First three characters of the word struck through.

Petition of the Antwerp panelmakers (13 November 1617). Antwerp City Archives, Guilds and Trades, 4346.

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13-11-1617/ 4a

bij hun te maecken sullen schuldich ende gehouden wesenr van gelijcken moeten te s doen
visiteren ende brandteeckenen bij de deken oft
ouderman van hunnen ambachte voor ende aleer
dat zij mitsgaders daerop
te slaen hunnen marcken deselve, sullen mogen vuyt hunnen huysen doen, …  …  …t ende sullen
de maten hier boven gevuert oock bewaert
worden op deze camer van de schrijnwerckers
Item sullen de voorseide tafereelmaeckers egeene u vermogen te
maecken by bueckenhout dan alleen de neuse ende binnenlijsten
op de verbeurten van sesse guldens ende nopende autaertafels, v sepulturen
oft diergelycke groote wercken sullen        van de jegenwoordeyge mr? [marcken ?]
gehouden sijn deselve van goetgevich        die zij voortaen op hunnen lijsten
waegeschot te maecken sonder                   ende panneelen zelen moeten slaen
eenich buecken ofte weeck hout                  ende daeraf op de camere lijst
daerinne te brengen ofte te                          hangen sal, w
verbesigen op de pene van 12 g[u]l[den].


r. Superscript: schuldich ende gehouden wesen. – s.  <Doorstreept : moeten; superscript: te. –  t. In de marge: mitsgaders daerop te slaen hunnen marcken; superscript: deselve; superscript: vuyt hunnen huysen doen boven doorstreepte, onleesbare woorden. – u. Doorstreept; lijsten. – v. Doorstreept: oft. – w. Doorhaling van de paragraaf  vanaf van jegenwoordeyhe tot en met hangen sal.

shall be bound and required r in the same way to s have them inspected and branded by the dean or elder of their trade first and before – on the condition of striking their marks thereon –  being allowed to bring the same out of their houses t and the above-mentioned measures shall also be brought into and kept in this chamber of the cabinetmakers’ trade.

Item the above-mentioned panelmakers may not be allowed to make u from beechwood other than the noses and inner frames on pain of six guilders and, with regard to altar tables, v.  tombs or similar large works, they shall be required to make the same from good straight-grained [= radially cut] oak, without inserting and using any beech or softwood, on pain of 12 guilders. w

r. Superscript: be bound and required. – s. Struck through: must; superscript: to. – t. In margin: on the condition of striking their marks thereon; superscript: the same; superscript, on top of illegible words, struck through: out of their houses. – u. Struck through: frames. – v. Struck through: or. – w. A paragraph struck through:  of the present mr [marks?] which they from now on will have to strike onto their frames and panels and a list of which will hang in the chamber.

Petition of the Antwerp panelmakers (13 November 1617). Antwerp City Archives, Guilds and Trades, 4346.

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13-11-1617/ 4b

Jacques Luijtsens Michiel Claessens jegenwoordich ouderman
Hans van Haecht Hans van Herentals
Jacques van Haecht Guilliam Gabron
Franchoys van Thienen Hans Claessen
Peeter de Noble Pauwels Maes
Lambrecht Steens Ph(i)l(ip)s de Bont
Jan Van Leij Peeter Kerbos
Peeter Vinck Peeter Cremers
Martinus Vernijen Aert Mennens
Peeter Vernyen Michiel Vrient
Laureys de Cort
Guilliam Aertssen  Den 13 November 1617


Click on the panel maker to read his biography (more will be added).

Jacques Luijtsens Michel Claessen,
current elder
Hans van Haecht Hans van Herentals
Jacques van Haecht Guilliam Gabron
Franchoys van Thienen Hans Claessen
Peeter de Noble Pauwels Maes
Lambrecht Steens Ph(i)l(ip)s de Bont
Jan Van Leij Peeter Kerbos
Peeter Vinck Peeter Cremers
Martinus Vernijen Aert Mennens
Peeter Vernyen Michiel Vrient
Laureys de Cort
Guilliam Aertssen  13 November 1617


Click on a panel maker to read his biography (more will be added).

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13-11-1617/ 5

<op rechterpagina:
Ende want het dagelyx, x geschieden sal dat door het y visiteren ende branden …z van de panneelen
de dekens ofte oudermans dickwils beletselen sullen hebben aa ende om tgene, …  …ab
voorschreven is ac vuyt hunnen huyse ende winckel moeten gaen, soo ist dat in
consideratie van dien hun toegevuecht sal worden voor het visiteren ende branden van elck dozijn
panneelen ende tzij …visiteren ende branden … sullen … tzij groote ofte kleyne
3 st[uivers] ende soo verre gebeurde dat ijmant ah
maer drij, vier ofte vijf panneelen
ai begeerde gevisiteert te hebben sal deselve mogen draegen
ten huijse van ouderman om aldaer gevisiteert te worden ende sal in sulcken, …aj  [onleesbaar,  gevalle sal, ak
gestaen mits prueven een oort het vijf stuck.


x. Superscript: het dagelyx. – y. Superscript en doorstreept: dagelyx. – z. Superscript: ende branden gevolgd door onleesbare letters. – aa. Superscript: hebben; doorstreept: hebben. – ab. Superscript: om tgene boven twee doorstreepte en onleesbare woorden. – ac. In de marge: voorschreven is gevolgd door het doorstreepte eyndt. – ad. Doorstreept: gaen superscript: hebben. – af. Superscript: het visiteren ende branden. – ag. Doorstreept: ende tzij onleesbaar visiteren ende branden onleesbaar sullen. – ah. Doorstreept :twee oft drij oft vier, kleijne panneelen en hadden die zij. – ai. Doorstreept: en hadden dan als zij. –   aj. Superscript : sal in sulcken onleesbaar. – ak. Doorstreept: sal.

[on the right page:]

And because it will happen daily x that, through y  inspecting and branding z panels, the deans or elders will have aa often inconvenience, and by reason ab of what is prescribed here ac have to  leave ad out of their houses and shops, in consideration of this they shall be granted for the inspection and branding ae of every dozen panels af, whether large or small, 3 st[uivers]. And in so far as it happens that someone ag desired to have just three, four or five panels ah inspected, he may bring those same to the elder’s house for inspection there and will in such ai cases aj be allowed when paying an oort per five pieces.

x. Superscript: it (…) daily. – y. Superscript, struck through: daily. – z. Superscript: and branding, followed by illegible characters. – aa. Superscript: have; struck through: have. – ab. Superscript: by reason on top of two illegible words struck through. – ac. – In margin: is prescribed, followed by the word end, struck through. – ad. Struck through: have; superscript:  leave. – ae. Superscript: the inspection and branding. – af. Struck through: and be it illegible to inspect and brand, illegible,  will. – ag. Struck through: had two or three or four small panels which they. – ah.  Struck through: and then as if. – ai. Superscript: will in such, illegible, struck through. – aj. Struck through: will.