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Panel 01 - Signature panel (Wine cryers and a customer tasting their wares)
Description:
A tavern keeper or wine merchant offers a taste of his wares to a potential client from a covered goblet or hanap (he holds the lid in his left hand). The smaller figure behind him, carrying a stick and holding his left hand to his face as if shouting, is a 'wine-cryer' - apparently a common feature of the medieval Chartrain sound-scape. Wine-cryers were employed by tavern keepers and wine merchants to walk round the streets drumming up custom whenever a new batch of wine was ready. The curious arrangement of a white hoop (a metal barrel hoop) on a long stick above this figure is a common tavern sign. Similar long white sticks also appear in panels 20 and 21, where their significance is less obvious. The gateway to the left was identified by Williams as a very specific gate into the Cathedral Close but this is pure speculation, the fictive architecture being generic. The object on which the drinker sits is also ambiguous. Although the diaper pattern might resemble woven whicker-work, it is actually another generic design element which the artists at Chartres employed to represent a range of different surfaces. Even so, this is not obviously a 'traveling merchant sitting on his bag of wares' as has been suggested.