Tinker (c. 1750)


The work of a tinker was mainly done by itinerant tradesmen, who occupied the lowest rungs of Early Modern society. They traveled from village to village to offer their services. Although their work was very useful, residents did not like them to stay close to their villages permanently since they were considered potential criminals or carriers of disease. Their status as a morally dubious group largely stemmed from the fact that they were not the direct subjects of any ruler.


Source: Tinker [“Der Kesselflicker”], oil on wood, Klostermuseum der Abtei Ottobeuren.

© Klostermuseum der Abtei Ottobeuren. Published with kind permission.

Tinker (c. 1750), published in: German History Intersections, <https://germanhistory-intersections.org/en/migration/ghis:image-156> [December 01, 2023].