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Saint-Denis in pictures
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Button-making workshops
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Title, subtitle and main picture of the page The modern town and its crafts


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Map of Saint-Denis's trades in the early modern period.
Map of Saint-Denis's trades in the early modern period. © UASD / Th. Sagory, M. Wyss
Mentions of repair work in the abbey's account books are our main source of information about crafts in the early modern year. Those from the period 1535-1536 concern the monastic buildings; they detail the construction materials purchased and list the merchants and craftspeople that performed the work: glaziers, plumbers, plasterers, woodworkers, painters, masons, laborers, and locksmiths. Most of these people lived in Saint-Denis. Others lived in Paris, including a potter, a nail-maker and a carpenter. A merchant selling "large" glass (window glass) came from Martagny, in Normandy.


hopkeepers, artisans and tradesmen in their shops, after the 'Mirror of Princes' by Giles of Rome, early 16th century
Archaeology offers an incomplete vision of urban crafts during this period, a vision basically centered on worked bone. Four waste pits belonging to bead-makers' workshops have been discovered. Metalworking activity is attested to by the discovery of a bronze foundry, whose furnace was located about a hundred meters north of the basilica.


Shopkeepers, craftspeople and tradepersons in their shops, after the 'Mirror of Princes' by Giles of Rome, early 16th century. © BNF / Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, ms. 5062, Rés. f° 149 v°.
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