Category: Research Notes

Notes from the daily work of research, bringing up some ideas, presenting sources, summarising interesting readings or placing the subject of this bolg in a larger perspective, e.g. the new approaches to auxilliary sciences or visual communication.

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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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Heraldry in Early Modern Spain according to the picaresque novel (1554-1668)

I have recently published an article in which I analyze the heraldic information contained in a total of twenty-seven Spanish picaresque novels from the years 1554 to 1668. Faced with the fantastic novel of chivalry, the realistic setting of the picaresque allows a better approach to the daily heraldic practices in Spain during the Early Modern Age, as well as to the perception of the coat of arms. A...

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The Japanese Mon – An Eastern Equivalent to the European Coats of Arms? (II): The Emergence of Mon

In my two previous articles on the Japanese mon I have introduced the topic as such. In the first article, I have claimed that there are some similarities between the Japanese mon and European coats of arms. The second article has shown that although mon appear very different from coats of arms at first sight, comparing both in their forms and contents in detail uncovers some fascinating similarities, especially...

2

Richental-Rezeption in der Frühen Neuzeit: Ein weiterer Handschriftenfund

Das Wappenbuch, das mit der Richental-Chronik überliefert wurde, darf als eines der einflussreichsten Wappenbücher des Mittelalters gelten. Zu den offensichtlicheren Gründen dafür gehören seine frühe Entstehung (unter den universalen Wappenbüchern war es eines der frühesten, unter denen des frühen 15. Jahrhunderts eines der universalsten), das frühe Datum des Erstdrucks (1483) und sicher auch der Entstehungsort – im Oberrheingebiet entstanden nun einmal viele der großen Wappensammlungen, von denen viele (auch)...

3

An Armorial Cushion for Count John of Nassau-Saarbrücken as a Knight of the ‘Ordre du Croissant’ of King René of Anjou

René of Anjou (1409–1480) was the ruler of a vast complex of territories dispersed over parts of France. Being the titular king of Sicily and Jerusalem his courtly representation was particularly splendorous as René furthered chivalric culture in many ways. In 1447/48, he founded the Order of the Crescent.1 René had religious motives for this move, in the first place his veneration of St Mauritius of Agaune, but he...

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Florence and its Signs, part 2: The Heraldic Diagram of another Florentine Guild and the Bossolo

In my previous text on this blog, entitled ‘Florence and its Signs: A Late Mediaeval Diagram of the City’ (https://heraldica.hypotheses.org/4880) I presented the heraldic diagram painted at the main vault of the Palace of Judges’ and Notaries’ Guild. I proposed to interpret this image as ‘a peculiar visual political treatise’, main function of which was to legitimise the hierarchy of communities and the city’s political system. A confirmation of...

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The Arms of the Florentine Republic in the “Bossolo” (End XIV s.): An Ideal Self-Representation of the Town

In “Florence and its Signs: A Late Mediaeval Diagram of the City”, Anna Pomierny Wąsińska described a fresco painted by Jacopo di Cione on the main vault of the Palace of the Judges’ and Notaries’ Florentine Guild (about 1360)1. She pointed out the close relation between the heraldic signs with an ideal ‘diagram’ of the town, formed of concentric circles and conceived as a «peculiar visual political treatise, which legitimises...

3

Florence and its Signs: A Late Mediaeval Diagram of the City

In the 1360s the abstract portrayal of Florence was painted by Jacopo di Cione on the main vault of the Palace of the Judges’ and Notaries’ Guild[i]. This heraldic diagram is a peculiar visual political treatise, which legitimises the hierarchy of communities and the city’s political system. To this end, an unusual synthesis of knowledge was used, merging aspects of perception of the communal law, relevant political treatises and,...

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„Jenseitsvorsorge und ständische Repräsentation. Interdisziplinäre Erschließung der spätmittelalterlichen Totenschilde im Germanischen Nationalmuseum“ – Aktuelle Zwischenergebnisse

Das Germanische Nationalmuseum besitzt mit rund 150 Totenschilden des 14. bis 17. Jahrhunderts den größten museal verwahrten Bestand einer Gattung, die bislang nur wenig erforscht und in der Vergangenheit vornehmlich für genealogische Studien herangezogen wurde. Es handelt sich um Gedenktafeln, die die städtischen Eliten für ihre männlichen Verstorbenen in den Kirchen, wenn möglich in der Nähe des Grabes, aufhängten. Sie zeigen das Familienwappen und weisen eine Inschrift mit dem...

3

Das wappengeschmückte Totenbuch des Franziskanerklosters Coburg

Das Totenbuch des in der Mitte des 13. Jahrhunderts gegründeten und 1525/26 aufgehobenen Franziskanerklosters Coburg1 befindet sich heute als Ms. 125 in der evangelischen Kirchenbibliothek von Neustadt/Aisch und wurde 1990 durch eine ausgezeichnete Edition2 des Archivars Klaus Freiherr von Andrian-Werburg (1930-2004) erschlossen.3 Sowohl die Signatur der Handschrift als auch die Tatsache, dass die Quelle einen umfangreichen Wappenschmuck aufweist, erfährt man in seiner Ausgabe aber nur beiläufig. Obwohl der Editor...

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Individuum, Familie, Land – Worauf verwiesen die frühen Wappen?

„On observe qu’il existe alors, simultanément, des armoiries encore en gestation et des armoiries déjà stabilisées, des armoiries individuelles et des armoiries de groupes, des armoiries familiales et des armoiries féodales, des armoiries militaires et des armoiries civiles.“1 An der Vieldeutigkeit der Wappen im Spätmittelalter kann kein Zweifel bestehen. Als „Kunstwerk[e] der Interferenz“2 brachten sie den Rang ebenso wie komplexe soziale Beziehungen, die Herkunft ebenso wie Besitz zum Ausdruck....

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Heraldry as a Systematic and International Language? About the Limitations of Blazonry in Describing Coats of Arms

Usually, this blog is dedicated to approaches to heraldic sources from the perspective of cultural history. To the contrary, this post will deal with one of the central subjects of heraldry as an auxiliary science: blazoning. However, I do think that this does preclude interesting insights also from the perspective of cultural studies, since I am convinced that heraldry as such can also be studied from this perspective. As...