Monday, September 13, 2010

Famous Folks and Shields

To finish up the pictures of heraldry from our recent trip to Virginia, I’m going to include some of the coats of arms that I found in our tour of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

(On a completely different topic, if you ever get to go to Richmond, plan to stop and eat at Buz and Ned’s. Best barbecue I have ever had! We now return you to your regularly scheduled heraldry blog post.)

Let me say right off the bat that I like walking through old cemeteries; not only are there often a lot of interesting sculptures and headstones, but you can often find heraldry in one form or another. And Hollywood Cemetery was not only a trove of such finds, it’s also got a lot of famous people buried there.

Two American Presidents, one Confederate President, several generals, politicians, and other folks who made a name for themselves doing one thing or another, as you can see from the plaque (above) placed near the entrance.

I noticed, as we were walking the grounds, several examples of what is not really heraldry, but is definitely a shield, right down to the gige, the leather strap by which the shield was slung across the shoulder or across the neck and shoulder.

No coat of arms; just two simple words: In Memoriam. Another similar motif in the cemetery simply said, My Husband. I found it to be very moving. Not heraldry, really, but better than just a blank shield that leaves you wondering if it’s supposed to be simply decorative or if they never got around to finish it. (Though I did find a couple of those, there, too.)

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