Clemmensen, Steen (Farum): Armorials as commercial ventures?

A substantial number of late medieval armorials can be placed in six groups, and all appear to be desk works, not field notes. Their structure, form of manufacture and the relationships between members place them as candidates for being products of the commercial book business. Targeting a wider audience is evident for one of the groups with members made in Southern Germany, notably the Richental chronicle-cum-armorial. A few artisans were each involved in the making of more than one member of another group, named for the Armorial équestre de la Toison d’or.

The members of the groups are all composite armorials with many well-defined segments, sometimes fifty or more. The three key features determining the groups are concordant segments, common markers, and common iconography of imaginary arms.

Preliminary findings indicate that some armorials were made by heralds, mainly for their own use, while others were made for commercial purposes. Some possible ways of why and how groups and member armorials may differ and how their contents descended over time and space will be discussed.

This paper will be presented at the workshop: Heraldic artists and painters in the Middle Ages / Peintres et artistes héraldistes au Moyen Age (Poitiers, 10-11 April 2014)

Cite this blog post
Torsten Hiltmann (2014, February 26). Clemmensen, Steen (Farum): Armorials as commercial ventures? Heraldica Nova. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from

Torsten Hiltmann

Torsten Hiltmann is Juniorprofessor for the High and Late Middle Ages and Auxiliary Sciences at the University of Münster. He is interested in medieval and early modern visual communication and heraldry, the medieval notion of kingship and the methods and technologies of Digital Humanities.

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