Category: Subproject: Heraldry and Urban Visual Culture (Marcus Meer)


Grants of Arms to the Guilds of London, 1439–1530

For a recently published essay on the rhetoric surrounding corporate coats of arms in grants, confirmations and augmentations of arms issued to London’s livery companies, I gathered quite a bit of information on these documents. While I did not set out to create an exhaustive list of grants to London guilds, the list did become rather expansive. I share it here in case it is useful to others interested...

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...


The Heraldry of the Weavers’ Guild of Augsburg: Mythical Origins and Everyday Display of Corporate Heraldry in Clemens Jäger’s ‘Weberchronik’

Clemens Jäger’s Weberchronik [1], a sixteenth-century chronicle dedicated to the history of the weavers’ guild of Augsburg, is a formidable example to demonstrate how urban chronicles can be used to analyse the importance of heraldry in urban society, especially in terms of coats of arms as an element of civic identity and collective representation. In this blog post, I am not so much interested in the heraldic illuminations that...


[Paper:] History on the Walls and Windows to the Past: Heraldic Commemoration of Urban Identity in Late Medieval Town Halls (Marcus Meer)

In medieval town halls, coats of arms were a prominent visual means of expressing urban (civic) identity. A core element of this identity was the commemoration of an urban history that was not at all limited to the texts of city chronicles. To the contrary, in this presentation I will explore the commemorative function of heraldic signs as part of urban material and visual culture in German and English...


[Project:] Heraldry and Urban Visual Culture in Late Medieval England and Germany

The medieval city was a stage of heraldry: It was displayed on the city gates and towers, the façades of the burghers’ houses and the merchants’ and craftsmen’s shops, on the ceilings and walls of the town hall, the stained glass and epitaphs of the city’s churches, the commune’s seals and coins. It was part of the visual programme of urban rituals such as the ruler’s entry, civic processions,...


[Paper:] Marcus Meer (Münster), Signs of Identity, Signs of the City: Heraldic Display of Urban Identity in the Augsburg Chronicle and the Gossembrot Armorial

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle (2012) also features an article on ‘Heraldry’. Unfortunately, however, in this article the relation of heraldry to historiography is largely limited to its place as a ‘border decoration’ of manuscripts and a ‘means of identifying’ the author, commissioner or owner of a chronicle. In my presentation I would like to argue—as does the ‘The Performance of Coats of Arms’ project in Münster —that...

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