While doing some of the research for the previous entry on the "arms" that Tom Sawyer was devising for Jim (because it always helps to double-check your facts), I ran across this amazing devisal of a "coat of arms" for Samuel L. Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, done by Tiffany & Co.
I’m really at a bit of a loss as to what I might say about it. I mean, about the only thing it has in common with real heraldry is that it’s placed on sort of a very Baroque shield shape. Other than that, it’s got six "quarters" with scenes relating to the great man’s life (including his house in Hartford), with a roundel in the center "charged" with his initials in a very foliated script. It is, in fact, just the sort of thing that I would expect from both the Victorian era and Tiffany & Company: florid, busy, overly fussy, and professionally executed by an expert craftsman. It is not, however, anything like what I think heraldry is supposed to look like.
But here, too, what an amazing piece of American "heraldry."
4 months ago