Arts & Mysteries: The Lost Arts & Mysteries - Popular Woodworking Magazine
 In December 2005 #152, Popular Woodworking Magazine Article Index

Revealing centuries-old secrets to working quickly and efficiently.
By Adam Cherubini
Pages: 32-36

From the December 2005 issue #152
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Arts & Mysteries is a phrase that oft appears in the contracts or indentures between master craftsmen and their apprentices. Exact usage varies, but the context is usually something like “… the apprentice shall keep secret his Master’s Arts & Mysteries …” or “…the Master shall teach the Arts & Mysteries of his trade….” Nowhere was the phrase “Arts & Mysteries” ever defined. It may have been a purposely ambiguous “term of art” with a nonspecific intended meaning.

A notion of secrecy is usually associated with the phrase. We know little about the state of the art of the craft during the 18th century. Not a single book was written on the subject in the English language throughout the entirety of the 18th century.

From the December 2005 issue #152
Buy this issue now

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