A microscopic piece of heraldry necessarily stands condemned, because it merely pretends to hint that the owner thinks himself a person of distinction, instead of performing the true function of enabling the casual observer to identify the owner. Monograms and unostentatious heraldry are therefor the badge of the parvenu, and such heraldry is usually bogus. Genuine arms are almost always displayed boldly and beautifully at every possible opportunity, indoors and out. --
Thomas Innes of Learney, Scots Heraldry, pp. 161-162
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't register people's coats of arms (though I can certainly suggest designs for those who might be interested). What I do is study, research, teach, and write about heraldry. And I like to share what I have learned about heraldry, hence this blog. I hope that you'll find it informative, interesting at least occasionally, and worth your time to come back. Got a question? Comments? Feel free to let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wearable Heraldry for the Head
Last post I noted the gimme cap that I bought in Cambridge with the arms of Harvard University on it. Today, I’m showing of three more caps, two with coats of arms and one with a town seal that is only semi-heraldic.
On the left, we have a cap I bought in Quebec in 2008 during the International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences held there. The cap was bought at the gift shop in the Citadel, the large star fort that once was the main defense for the city, and is currently the home of the Canadian 22nd Regiment. The coat of arms on the Regimental badge is, appropriately enough, the arms of the Province of Quebec.
On the right is the cap I picked up at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 2006, which we attended while at the Congress held in St. Andrews, Scotland. The Tattoo has its own coat of arms, with the white saltire of Scotland and the castle of Edinburgh splitting the chief between them.
Finally, though less truly heraldic, is the seal of the town of Upton, Massachusetts, which some of my ancestors lived in (including my third great-grandfather and his first family, about whom none of his later family seems to have known. His first wife and their infant son both died early and are buried in one of the older cemeteries in the town. And, yes, for the genealogists among you who are asking, while we were there I got pictures of their tombstones). The seal contains a sheaf of wheat (heraldic “garb”), indicating the primarily agricultural base of the town.