Monday, August 6, 2012

Heraldry in the News!


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.

The full story can be found on-line at: http://phys.org/news/2012-07-qm-historians-medieval-banking-hidden.html

and at: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/07/24/Rare-document-shows-early-European-banking/UPI-55951343163903/

and as far away as India at:
http://zeenews.india.com/entertainment/bookworm/medieval-record-sheds-light-on-london-s-italian-bankers_2429.htm

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