Thursday, August 5, 2021

The Heraldry of Some 1980s Inductees to the Order of the Dannebrog


Continuing our review of the armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Dannebrog in Frederiksborg Castle, today we're going to look at some (on one side of one of the alcoves) who were inducted into the Order in the 1980s.

Again, the blazons are my own.

Beginning at the top, going from left to right, and working our way down, we have the armorial plaques of:

Mogens Erik Wahl (1918-1986, inducted in 1983), cabinet secretary and national ombudsman in the Faroe Islands: Argent a whale haurient embowed sable;

Peter Marlenson Christensen (inducted in 1982), Per fess indented of two points azure and or each point tipped with an oak leaf counterchanged; and

Knud Jørgensen (1919-1990, inducted in 1983), General and Chief of Defense, Azure a winged hand argent maintaining a baton gules tipped argent.


Moving down we have:

Knud Jørgensen again;

Hans Juul Sølvhøj (1919-1989, inducted in 1983), a Danish politician and government minister, Gules a mountain argent;

Arnold Mærsk McKinney Møller (1913-2012, inducted in 1983), Danish shipping magnate, Azure a mullet of seven points argent; and

Otto Katharus Lind (1920-2000, inducted in 1985), General and Chief of Defense, Gules an aspen leaf or.


And finally, we have:

Otto K. Lind again;

Paul Henning Fischer (inducted in 1988), Ambassador, Azure mullety argent a globe or; and

Sven Egil Thiede (1924-2005, inducted in 1988), Admiral, who succeeded General Lind as Chief of Defense, Quarterly per fess wavy of two troughs azure and argent.


Next time, some from the 1970s, and some from the 2000s. (How's that for an odd mix of eras?)

Monday, August 2, 2021

Some 17th Century Heraldry of the Order of the Dannebrog


Continuing our look at some of the older armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Dannebrog in Frederiksborg Castle, here are some of the members who were inducted into the Order in the late 17th Century

Johann Frederick von Levetzow (inducted in 1683), Argent a [I do not know what this artifact is] gules; Otto Rantzau, third lensgreve (count) of Rosenvold (1632-1719, inducted in 1674), Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules two lion’s jambes in saltire or; 2 and 3, Or three torteaux one and two; overall an inescutcheon crowned with the coronet of a count, Per pale gules and argent.


Johann von Lewenhielm (1682), Per pale: Azure issuant from the sea on a rock proper a tower, a chief and a base argent; Gules a lion rampant crowned or.


Matthias Moth (died 1699, inducted in 1693), a Danish stateman whose biggest claim to fame that I can find seems to have been that he was the brother of Sophie Amalie Moth, mistress of King Christian V, Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent three hearts gules; 2 and 3, Or three bars gules; overall an inescutcheon Azure in pale a crescent moon pendent argent and mullet of five points inverted [or, reversed] or.


Conrad Bierman von Ehrenschild (1629-1698, inducted in 1684), Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure three wheat stalks or; 2 and 3, Or a duck sable beaked and legged gules swimming on a base of water proper; overall an inescutcheon Gules a rose argent.


Next time, no more of this "old" stuff! We'll look at the plaques of some late 20th Century members of the Order of the Dannebrog.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Some Older Armorial Plaques of the Order of the Dannebrog


Beginning with this post, we're going to start looking at some of the individual armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Dannebrog in Frederiksborg Castle.

In general, I'm going to try to go from older members to more recent ones, and so we're going to begin in the 17th Century. (I will say that I don't know what was going on in 1684 in Denmark, but a lot of members were created/inducted into the Order in that year.)

For this post, and for the next one, we are still looking at members' plaques tucked away in stairwells, rather than on the floor of the Chapel.

As usual, the blazons are my own, based on both what I can make out on these armorial plaques, as well as comparing them to the emblazons in the Dannebrogordenens Våbenboger (Order of the Dannebrog Armorial Books) which can be found at the link I gave in the last post. These blazons may very well differ from any "official" blazons of these arms; where they do, any errors are my own. The same is true of any mistranslations from the names given on the plaques or in the books, which are all in Latin.

Here we have the plate of Christian Rantzow, Count of Rantzow and Lewenholm (inducted 1698). Quarterly: 1 and 4, Per pale argent and gules; 2 and 3; Sable semy of lozenges bendwise sinister a bend sinister sable; overall an inescutcheon Azure a lion rampant queue-forchy crowned or.


Next is that of Joachim Schach (inducted in 1684) Per fess gules and argent a fleur-de-lis counterchanged; and Caius Rumohr (also inducted 1684) Per pale, Argent two bars gules, and Azure a wing issuant from the line of division argent.


Here we have the plaque of Philip Adams of Massenbach (inducted 1684). Or two bars azure; and Caius Lawrence, Count of Bruchdorf (inducted 1671) Per fess gules and azure in chief two lions passant respectant or and in base two winged fish bendwise sinister and bendwise respectant argent.


John George, Baron of Schulenberg (inducted 1684) Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent three bird’s legs fesswise embowed gules; 2 and 3, Or a bull passant quarterly gules and argent, its head quarterly gules and argent crowned or; overall an inescutcheon Argent an eagle displayed gules; and John Echard of Geise (inducted 1681) Per pale: Per pale a lion rampant gules; Azure a decrescent moon within its horns argent a mullet of eight points or.


And finally, we have the plaques of: Joachim Henry von Bülow (inducted 1684) Azure semy of bezants, or Azure fourteen bezants four four three two and one; Francis Eberhard of Spekran (inducted 1684) Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules a tower argent; 2 and 3, Argent a barred helm bendwise sinister silver garnished or with a panache of ostrich feathers alternately gules and argent; overall an inescutcheon Azure a bird [cock?] passant to sinister argent.


That should be enough to look at for this time. As always, you can click on a picture to go to a larger, more detailed one of each of the plaques.

"Why are they all so dark?", I hear you ask. You have to remember that electric lights are a comparatively recent invention. In the 17th Century, and for quite some time after, much lighting and heating was done with sooty fireplaces, smoky candles, smudge-producing whale oil and kerosene lamps, which tended to build up and darken whatever these smoky particles landed on over the years.

To quote Trevor Noah, "If you didn't know, now you know."

Monday, July 26, 2021

Alright, Some of You Knew That This Was Coming!


I'm sure that if you are familiar at all with Frederiksborg Castle, you probably just knew that this was going to be coming sooner or later. Well, that day has come.

For those of you not all that familiar with Frederiksborg Castle, you may be asking, "What has come?"

Up on the first floor of the Chapel at the Castle (what Americans would call the second floor, because in America what Europeans call the Ground Floor is called here the First Floor; making what in Europe is called the First Floor, the Second Floor in America; and so on. Anyway), on the floor a level above the Chapel are two side aisles. One contains the painted metal plaques of the members of the Order of the Dannebrog, with their names, coats of arms, and the dates of their induction into the Order. The other aisled contained the painted metal plaques of the members of the Order of the Elephant, with their names, coats of  arms, and the dates of their induction into that Order.

So, yeah, the next several posts are going to be chock full of heraldry, and today, we begin with the members of the Order of the Dannebrog.

First, to give you an idea of an overview, here's a shot looking down part of the aisle on the Order of the Dannebrog side of the Chapel.


Every place there is a window, there is an alcove, and on both sides of each alcove, are the aforementioned metal shields.

There are, of course, more members of the Order than whose shields will all fit into the spaces available, so a number of these shields, mostly for older members (the Order books found on-line at https://www.kongehuset.dk/vaabenboeger begin in 1671) have been mounted and are displayed in some of the staircases leading to/from this floor of the Chapel.

Here are some examples of that:


And some stairwells are better lit, making the shields more easily readable, than others:




As you can see here, and will see more of in the next several posts, each of these plaques has the same overall pattern: The coat of arms in the center, with helm, crest, and mantling, or a coronet, sometimes with a motto at the top, the shield surrounded with the sash and cross of the Order of the Dannebrog, and with the member's name on the left and date of induction into the Order on the right, usually in Latin and with Roman numerals.

Next time, we'll get out of the stairwells and onto the floor, and will start naming names, dating dates, and blazoning arms!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Ladies and Gentlemen, The King and Queen of Denmark


I realized after my last post that I've been sharing with you a number of depictions of the arms of King Christian IV of Denmark and his wife the Queen, Anne Catherine of Brandenburg, but so far we haven't seen any images or portraits of the couple themselves.

Well, today we're going to fix that.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the King and Queen of Denmark, Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg.


This painted armorial genealogy appears in one of the upper rooms at Frederiksborg Castle. (I recommend that you click on the image above to see a larger and thus more detailed picture of this genealogical tree.)

At the bottom center, we have, of course, King Christian IV, and to his left, Queen Anne Catherine. Here they are in close-ups, with their coats of arms in front of them:



The figure to the King's right is their son Frederick III, who succeeded his father as King of Denmark and Norway and ruled from 1648 to 1670.


The remainder of the individuals and shields are, of course, the immediate ancestors of the King and Queen: their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

It's always interesting to see an armorial genealogical tree, and this is one of the bigger and more detailed ones that I have come across. I hope that you find it as impressive and interesting as I do!

Monday, July 19, 2021

These Doors Are MY Doors, That Door Is YOUR Door


Wending our way upstairs at Frederiksborg Castle (and if you have the opportunity to visit the Castle, you should go upstairs!), we find more examples of Royal arms. Here, the arms surmount three doorways in a room.

Here we have the greater arms of Denmark, topped with the elephant of the Order of the Elephant:


And here's a closer view of of the greater arms of Denmark:


Over another doorway, we have the lesser arms of Denmark, also topped by the elephant:


And here's a close-up:


And finally, over another doorway, we have the arms of the Queen, Anne Catherine of Brandenburg:


And again, a close-up:


(I'm having this uncontrollable urge to start singing to the tune of Loch Lomond: "You take the King's doors, and I'll take the Queen's door, And I'll be in Denmark afore you." I'm trying to stifle it, I really am, but I don't know how long I can hold out. It's probably best if you go ahead and leave now. Unless, of course, it's already too late, and you've got the tune running in your head like an earworm. If that is the case, I am truly sorry. But now you know what it feels like sometimes to be me.)

Anyway, earworms or not, these heraldic panels are a great display of heraldry, and have me thinking, "Hey, I have two doorways in my office. I wonder if I could/should do something like this over them with my own arms.

You might look about your own home to see if you have any doorways in your home that might benefit from this kind of adornment. Just a suggestion.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Heraldry in the Rose Room, Part 2: the Queen's Arms


Having looked at the arms of the territories claimed or ruled by King Christian IV of Denmark, on the ceiling of the Rose Room in Frederiksborg Castle, today we're going to look at the arms of the territories claimed or ruled by the family of his Queen, Anne Catherine of Brandenburg.

Please note: I have not always been able to identify each of these arms with certainty.

And here again the arms are in no order other than the order in which I photographed them as I wandered more or less at random around the room.

Unidentified. Per fess gules and checky argent and azure a demi-griffin issuant from the line of division sable. It properly should be: Per fess gules and checky or and azure a demi-griffin issuant from the line of division argent.


Unidentified. Or a saltire couped between four roses gules.


Unidentified. Argent an eagle displayed sable.


Principality of Rügen. A literal translation of the German blazon is: Divided by gold over blue; above a red crowned and reinforced black lion with double tail, which grows out of the stepped gable located in the lower field, formed from five red stones. My attempt at an English blazon is: Per fess grady or and per fess grady argent and azure a demi-lion issuant from the line of division sable(? gules?) crowned or.


Margraviate of Brandenburg. Argent an eagle displayed gules armed membered and with kleestengeln or.


Burgraviate of Nuremberg. Or a lion rampant sable crowned or a bordure compony gules and argent.


Wenden. Argent a griffin passant bendy [of three] vert and gules.


Stettin. Azure a griffin passant gules.


Kashubia. Or a griffin passant sable.


Unidentified. Gules a wyvern passant argent.


Arch-Chamberlain and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. This should be: Azure a scepter or. However, it is painted here as Argent a scepter or.


Unidentified. Gules an eagle displayed argent [beaked and membered or?].


And there you have it! The arms of the territories of the King and Queen of Denmark, Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg.

And, of course, if you're ever looking for a little inspiration of what you can do to spruce up your own dining room, a little carved plaster and some paint and you've got a ceiling that will be the envy of the neighborhood!

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Heraldry in the Rose Room, Part 1: the King's Arms


Inside Frederiksborg Castle, we came to the Rose Room, also called the Knight's Room. It has been reconstructed to look like it did in the time of King Christian IV and Queen Anne Catherine of Brandenburg, when it was used as a dining room for the nobles of the Danish Court.


While there is a lot of stuff to look at in the room (including the two suits of armor standing in front of the window in the photograph above), it is well worth it for the heraldry enthusiast to look up while strolling about the room, where we find large plaster roundels with the arms of the many territories ruled by the King and Queen.

Today, we will look at the arms of those territories ruled by King Christian IV, and next time those of the Brandenburgs. These photos are not in any particular order; they are simply in the order that I photographed them as I wandered about the room.

Schleswig. Or two lions passant in pale azure.


Denmark. Or three lions passant azure between nine hearts gules.


The Kalmar Union/Sweden. Azure three crowns or.


Delmenhorst. Azure a cross paty or.


King of the Goths/Jutland. Or nine hearts gules in chief a lion passant azure.


Ditmarsken. Gules a knight armed cap-à-pie or mounted on a horse argent and bearing a shield azure charged with a cross paty or.


King of the Wends/Funen. This should properly be Gules a lindworm (wyvern) passant crowned or. This is Azure a lindworm (wyvern) passant crowned or. That said, some early examples have a blue field.


Holstein. Gules a nettle leaf between three passion nails in pall argent.


Gotland. Gules a Paschal lamb argent.


Iceland. Gules a stockfish argent ensigned by a crown or.


Oldenburg. Or two bars gules.


Øsel. Azure an eagle displayed sable [beaked and membered or].


And Norway. Gules a lion rampant crowned bearing an axe or.