Category: English

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“Dictionary of British Arms. Medieval Ordinary” (4 vols) available in Open Access

The four volumes of the Dictionary are purchasable in print at Boydell & Brewer (photo: Boydell & Brewer) In four volumes, the Dictionary of British arms gathers the known coats of arms from the British Isles from the beginning of heraldry up to 1530. Unlike other instruments like the Rietstap or the Siebmacher, here the coats of arms are not arranged by the names of their bearers but –...

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Bergshammar armorial online!

Since last week, a digitised version of the Bergshammar armorial has been freely accessible online on the website of the Swedish national archives. This fascinating parchment manuscript contains over 3000 coats of arms, displaying first European high nobles by rank followed by nobles by political entities, with a focus on the Holy Roman Empire, France and England. It is dated to the mid-15th century and it is assumed to...

Pounder memorial (1525) in Ipswich. 13

Heraldry is Vanity! Moral Criticism of Heraldic Commemoration in Germany – A European Phenomenon?

Medieval churches still abound in coats of arms depicted on tombs, epitaphs, windows, altarpieces and other commemorative devices. And of course it was not just knights, nobles, princes and kings that tried to preserve their memory by means of heraldry. Medieval townspeople, too, left behind heraldic reminders in the churches in England and Germany, for instance. The Nuremberg patrician Sebald Schreyer (d. 1520) noted a stained-glass window embellished with...

Visible Identites conference, London. (2017) 0

[Report:] Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos, London, 6 November 2017

It is a convenient coincidence that an event of this thematic scope took place in London, a city that is home to the College of Arms as the oldest authority of heraldry as a century-old tradition of visual identification on the one, and the headquarters of countless companies concerned with identity of modern global brands on the other side. With these two dimensions in mind, this symposium brought together...

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‘Heraldic Artists and Painters’ volume is now forthcoming!

I am pleased to announce that the first volume of our new ‘Heraldic Studies’ series has now been sent off to the printers and will be published just in time for Christmas! Under the title ‘Heraldic Artists and Painters in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times’, Laurent Hablot and I present a collection of fourteen English and French papers bringing together contributions from our Poitiers conference in 2014...

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What we have done so far: List of publications and lectures from the “Coats of arms in practice” project

The project “Coats of arms in practice” aims to reassess medieval heraldry from the perspective of cultural history. In order to keep track of the results of the project, we publish here a list of the publications and lectures that emerged from this project so far. Of course, there is still more to come!       Edited Volumes Hiltmann, Torsten; Hablot, Laurent (eds.): Heraldic Artists and Painters in the...

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Nassau-Vianden armorial accessible online!

Earlier this year the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague acquired the Nassau-Vianden armorial. This fascinating manuscript is now digitized and accessible online at the website of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. On this website the presentation of the armorial is accompanied by an introduction and some details on the content, of which a brief summary follows below. The armorial displays the ancestors of count Engelbrecht II of Nassau (1451-1504), of both 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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Out now! Editing armorials. Cooperation, knowledge and approach by late medieval practitioners

The title of these books can be interpreted both actively and passively. The active form is when one or more manuscripts are being transcribed, the arms identified and commented on, and the whole analyzed and published. Less effort may suffice and leave the armorial as just a listing of transcribed items with or without identification. More or less critical editions have been published over the years and more are...

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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...