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Painted plaster cast with a depiction of Greth Schell

Painted plaster cast of the ceiling frieze from the town hall cellar with a depiction of the carnival character Greth Schell. An inscription carved on the reverse reads “[...] frieze in the restaurant Stadthaus, Zug / Carved by Josef Schwerzmann / woodcarver / Zug on 14th January 1904”.

The carnival character, Greth Schell, was inspired by Margarethe Schell, a famous 18th century town character. Legend has it that one day she decided to collect her drunk husband from the tavern and carry him home in a basket on her back. She was accompanied in this endeavour by the so-called “Lölis” (Swiss-German for “idiots”; her husband’s drinking companions). The “Greth Schell Fountain” opposite the Liebfrauenkapelle (Our Lady’s Chapel) in the Unter Altstadt area of Zug, with its bronze statue of “Greth Schell” made in 1977 by the Lucerne sculptor Rolf Brem (12/2/1926–11/4/2014), is dedicated to the Zug carnival character.

On Shrove Monday (Güdelmontag, the highlight of the Zug carnival season), “Greth Schell” becomes a living carnival tradition in the town centre of Zug. Accompanied by musicians and her husband’s seven “Lölis”, the character dances up and down the streets of the town centre and between 4 pm and 5 pm she distributes sausages, bread (small rolls known as Mutschli) and oranges to the children. The kids have to shout “Greth Schällebei!” and avoid being hit with pigs’ bladders (Süüblatere). The “Carpenters’, Woodturners’ and Coopers’ Guild of Zug” are the custodians and organisers of this event.

Inventory number: 10991
Date: 14.02.1904 (Inschrift)
Materials/techniques: Gips
Size: Objektmass (H x B x T): 34.0 x 13.0 x 2.0 cm
Connection to individuals/companies: Josef Schwerzmann (1855–1927), Holzbildhauer

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The images in the database are the property of the Museum Burg Zug. They form a digital catalogue of the collection and are intended for illustration purposes only. Any usage by publishing, transmitting or editing of the images or any other commercial usage is subject to enquiry and requires express permission by the rights holder (Museum Burg Zug).
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