Category: Articles

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A few more armorials online (Mandragore database)

The Mandragore database of the Bibliothèque national in Paris (http://mandragore.bnf.fr/jsp/rechercheExperte.jsp) allows one to search images of the BnF’s illuminated manuscripts. Unsurprisingly perhaps, this also brings to light a rather larger number of heraldic images (some 10,000 images are tagged ‘armoiries’) and at least a few armorials: 18 manuscripts in the database have been described as armorials (i.e. have the word ‘armorial’ in the modern title). Here’s a list: 1...

Lamp from the emir Aydakin Al Bunduqdar’s mausoleum. 12

The Mamluk rank: Quasi-heraldic emblems in the Islamic world

In Islamic culture, ‘mamluks’ were elite slave soldiers that served the Muslim caliphs, sultans and emirs. Recruited at a young age from the Turkish tribes of the steppes of central Asia, they first appeared in the ninth century under the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutasim near Baghdad. By the thirteenth century, buying and training mamluks had become a common practice in the Middle East. In Egypt, the first sultan to make...

Visible Identites (2017) 0

[CfA:] Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos, London, 6 November 2017 (Programme)

This day conference at the Society of Antiquaries will consider the ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. The opening address will be delivered by Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada, on development of the country’s visual symbolic identity. The following contributions will consider the development of sign systems of identity and their uses from the...

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Bellenville’s two armorials

The »Bellenville« armorial is one of the most famous and admired of the Middle Ages. Its production context however remains shrouded in mystery. This brief blogpost discusses the relations between its two main sections and demonstrates how focus on the material aspects of the manuscript can clarify a somewhat confusing statement in the most recent heraldic edition of the armorial. The manuscript The manuscript with the »Bellenville« armorial consists...

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Heraldry in the royal palace of Sintra: ‘In the Service of the Crown’ project on national TV in Portugal

The show Visita Guiada (‘Guided Visit’) by Portuguese journalist Paula Moura Pinheiro is currently the most popular program of Portugal’s public broadcasting channel RTP 2. Every week, a Portuguese monument of cultural importance is presented by a specialist, generally a historian. Last week, the chosen monument was the royal palace in Sintra and its sala dos brasões (‘hall of coats of arms’). It was presented by Miguel Metelo de...

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Recent publications – Update May 2017

Books Barbattini, R., M. Ghirardi and G. Giovinazzo, Api delle città. La figura dell’ape nell’araldica civica italiana (San Godenzo, 2016) Büchner, Robert, Das Münchner Boten- und Wappenbuch vom Arlberg (Frankfurt, 2016) Fragale, Luca Irwin, Microstoria e Araldica di Calabria Citeriore e di Cosenza. Da fonti documentarie inedite (Milano, 2016) Articles and chapters Barovier Mentasti, R., L. Borelli, C. Tonini, ‘Dating the Venetian Rovere Flask at The Corning Museum of...

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[Question:] Dear heraldists, we need your input: How did you learn to blazon?

Dear heraldists, dear fellow researchers, As a part of my studies, I am looking at concepts of ‚proper‘ blazon in general, and differences and parallels between the English, French, and German systems and traditions of blazoning in particular. For example, I plan to do some work on the ways in which heraldic ordinaries and charges are categorised and the rationale behind these categorisations. In this context, I am curious...

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A dream’s armorial: The heraldic paintings of the Galleria dei Papi in Oriolo Romano (Viterbo, Italy)

In central Italy, between Rome and Viterbo, a land of forests frequented and feared for millennia[1] includes a town of dreams. This is Oriolo Romano, built in 1562 by the roman nobleman Giorgio Santacroce who gave stable accommodation to the seasonal huts of lumberjacks by a new town in line with Renaissance ideals. Three parallel streets converge on the square of the princely building in a trident structure similar to...

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Weder Schild noch Wappen? Zur Suggestivkraft präheraldischer Handschriftenilluminationen

  Während der Quellenrecherche zu einer Seminararbeit zu den Anfängen des Wappenwesens stieß ich auf eine faszinierende heraldische Bildquelle, die mich aufgrund meines Erkenntnisinteresses zunächst zu einer gravierenden Fehlinterpretation verleitete, aber letztlich doch vieles über den Umgang mit Bildern als Quelle gelehrt hat. Ich betrachtete zunächst Handschriftenilluminationen, deren Digitalisate in großen französischen und englischsprachigen Bilddatenbanken mittlerweile frei zugänglich sind, darunter zum Beispiel Mandragore, Enluminures, Initiale, Gallica der Digital Catalogue of...

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A world (map) of coat of arms: Richental’s mappamundi

The Aulendorf copy of Richental’s chronicle, today preserved in New York, is rightly famous as an important textual witness not only of the chronicle but also the armorial transmitted with the latter (see https://heraldica.hypotheses.org/2854 on the manuscript and the coats of arms it contains). Today, I would like to draw attention to a slightly hidden feature of the Aulendorf manuscript, namely the mappamundi it contains – a so-called ‘T-O...

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[Paper:] Marie Koehn (Strasbourg, F / Münster, D): Décor de table et mise en scène du pouvoir princière. Le mariage de Charles le Téméraire (1468)

Charles le Téméraire est connu pour son déploiement de faste représentatif ; la cour de Bourgogne marque l’apogée de la culture de cour au moyen âge. Pour manifester le pouvoir et l’autonomie de la jeune dynastie entre la France et le Saint Empire et pour unifier un territoire très hétérogène, le Duc de Bourgogne mit en place une autoreprésentation élaborée et splendide tout au long de son règne. Les...

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[Paper:] Silvia Marin Barutcieff, Ștefan Barutcieff (Bucharest, RO): From Sacred Art to the Art of Politics. Mural Paintings and the 15th Century Iconographic Discourse of St. George’s Castle in Mantua

In 1433, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga became the first marquess of Mantua, a title granted by Emperor Sigismund in recognition of his services to the Holy Roman Empire. Succeeding his father, Ludovico III Gonzaga ruled the Lombard city from 1444 to 1478, as the second marquess of Mantua. Having completed his education in the company of outstanding figures (such as the humanist Vittorino Rambaldini da Feltre, his tutor), Ludovico invited at...