One of the things I enjoy seeing in European churches is the heraldic memorials to deceased persons that are called "hatchments." They can be fairly plain; they can be ornate; they have just the coat of arms of the deceased or also have the arms of his (or her; some hatchments, including the first one below, memorialize women) parents and grandparents. But they stand as a memorial to someone who lived, bore a coat of arms, and died, and who might not otherwise be remembered.
The following are seven hatchments that I saw in the Basilica of St. Servatius in Maastricht. They are all painted on wood (in some you can even see the individual boards), and while the first several of them follow the standard format of being a square hung from one corner, some of the others surprised me (pleasantly, mind you!) with how they did not follow that format. It's always a joy to me to see how people take something heraldic and do something different or unexpected with it. I hope that you get as much pleasure out of these memorials as I did.
3 months ago
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