Beckibüezer – Old Swiss Dialect for a Tradesman Repairing Plates

Beckibüezer – Definition

Original meaning: A man who repairs plates, or the tool used by to repairer the plates.

In some modern swiss dialects, the term Beckibüezer has come to mean “a poor wretch.”

In the 18th and 19th Century plates were literally sewn back together with metal stitches or staples by specialized traveling repairmen known as Beckibüezer.

The specialized tool used by the Beckibüezer helped him to drill holes into the back or inside of the pots in order to stitch them together. The tool could be calibrated to the thickness of the pot to make certain the holes were not visible on the reverse.

This image by the Lucerne Artist Franz Karl Basler-Kopp (1879 – 1937) shows a Beckibüezer at work, with his specialized too, and broken pots waiting at his feet.

Drawing by Private Collection – Memphis, Tennessee


Back of an Antique Plate from the Village Antiques Collections