Colorful Gable Stone or Stone Tablet of a Dutch Butchery

Colorful Gable Stone or Stone Tablet of a Dutch Butchery

Colorful Gable Stone or Stone Tablet of a Dutch Butchery

Are carved and often colorfully painted stone tablets, which are set into the walls of buildings, usually at about 4 metres from the ground. They serve both to identify and embellish the building. They are also called “stone tablets” by the Rijksmuseum, which sometimes appends “from a facade”. A “wall stone” is another suggested translation from the Dutch term.[1]

The content of gable stones may explain something about the house’s owner and are a feature of the urban fabric of Amsterdam. One of their functions was to show the analphabetic public were to shop. Some 2,500 of these stones can still be found in the Netherlands, of which around 850 are in Amsterdam and 250 in Maastricht, while others are also found in cities such as Brussels, Lille and Copenhagen. This particular gable stone used to be part of a butcher’s house. It shows tow butchers at work. The lying cow in the front is being choked by one of them. In the back we see the result of two pigs slaughtered earlier that day. A second cow is waiting in her stabile. On the back it can clearly be seen that the stone or tablet actually was part of a gable.


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