On the facade of the New Castle in Stuttgart is a remarkably complex coat of arms, carved in deep relief and surrounded by all sorts of statuary. It’s a beautiful piece of work, despite the high contrast of the repairs which have been done to it (presumably to repair damage done by bombs during WWII), which detract a little bit from it. (The building itself was completely gutted by bombing, as you can see in the picture here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neues_Schloss_Stuttgart_(1956).jpg taken in 1956 shortly before restoration work began, but much of the facade - including the coat of arms over the central entrance and many of the statues - remained with less damage.)
On an inescutcheon which is ensigned with a royal crown is the arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg, Or three stags attires in pale sable impaled by Or three lions passant in pale sable, another depiction of which I discussed in my last post with the lion and stag supporters on the gate before the central courtyard of the New Castle.
The medal hanging from below the shield bears a strong resemblance to be that of the Pour le Mérite, the "Blue Max." It is a Maltese cross with eagles displayed between the arms of the cross; but the medal here has a roundel in the center, while the Blue Max has no such roundel but does have a crowned "F" (for Friedrich the Great) and the words "Pour le Mérite" on the arms of the cross.
I always stand in awe at both the amount of work and the quality of the work that goes into the carving of such a coat of arms. It is a beautifully rendered piece of work.
BEFOREs and AFTERs!
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