From Lowe's Curiosities of Heraldry: “It does not seem to have occured to these allegorizing worthies that the tincture of a charge may be diametrically opposed to the signification assigned to the charge itself. For example, the coat ‘Vert, a bull's head or’ by the armilogical rules cited above, would signify, as to the tinctures, pleasure and joy, while as to the charge it would mean rage and fury. Again, ‘Purpure, a wolf argent’ would mean ‘a wrangler with a peacable disposition!!’”
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't design and 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. (You can find some of my books about heraldry and a list of my articles and presentations about heraldry at "Our Website" below.) 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 ask or let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
Many of you may have already seen one or another news story on this item, but for the one or two of you who may not have heard of it yet, two researchers at Queen Mary’s School of History at the University of London who are working on the Borromei Bank Research Project, which is documenting the activity of Italian merchant bankers operating from London in the late medieval period, found some banking records (dated 1422-24) half-covered by coats of arms (estimated to have been painted in 1480). The manuscript was found in a bound collection at the College of Arms in London.
Such accounting books were normally sent back to the headquarters of the merchant-banking company, Domenicio Villani & Partners, in Florence. Dr. Francesco Guidi-Bruscoli states that, “In this case, the books remained in London, where they gradually lost their documentary value and some 55 years later were considered scraps of good quality paper to be re-used for the drawing of coats of arms.”
Thrifty heralds, recycling paper 500 years before it became popular everywhere else.