Heralds [in the past] … blazoned [the arms they granted] so fully and aptly, that no man could be at a loss to draw them with accuracy and exactness.
Modern heralds, however, … the descriptions which they give us of those very arms are so loose and defective, that such arms cannot with certainty and exactness be drawn from their blazon, as they stand worded in the grants.
Joseph Edmonson, A Complete Body of Heraldry, Vol. 1, 1780, p. 171
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.
In a recent (April 9, 2013) news article, kentnews.co.uk noted the display in the Natural History Museum in London of the first substantiall...
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Thursday, November 21, 2013
Eastward, Ho! A Follow-Up
Having had the time to do a little more research into the naval heraldry noted in my last post, I feel pretty safe in identifying the ship from which that particular bow decoration came from as being the armored cruiser ACR-2 USS New York. (The ACR-1, which was later designated as a second class battleship, was the USS Maine, of "Remember the ..." fame.)
My reasons for believing the arms belonged to the New York are several: first, the word "Excelcior" (which I believe is a misspelled "Excelsior"); second, the eagle over the shield; and finally, the two human figure "supporters" seen in profile on each side of the arms. So why exactly does that make me think "New York"? Well, this does: the arms of the State of New York.
See what I mean? Compare this achievement with the external ornaments (or to use a different term, artistic "frou-frou") about the shield of the arms of the United States in my last post, below.
And here is a photograph of the New York, with the eagle showing quite prominently above the shield on the bow.
And here is another, taken from the starboard side. If you click on the picture here, you should see the full-size version, where details of the bow decoration show up pretty well.
The New York was not, alas, a part of the Great White Fleet which circumnavigated the globe under President Theodore Roosevelt. She did, however, have a long and active service, being at one time the flagship of the Pacific Fleet.
All in all, a really great piece of heraldry, and history, to have run across!