It is a solemn matter to appoint a Herald to your household, for he will be with you, assuming your need for him continues, forever after. His presence alone can turn a simple sandwich into a solemn banquet. Never take a Herald on a picnic. (The Book of Weird)
I'm an Academic Herald. I'm not a "real" herald; I don't 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. 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 let me know. I'd love to hear from you. You can find my contact information in my Profile.
I ran across a recent discussion about the coat of arms of Jan van Abbenbroek in The Netherlands, which appear in an old armorial, the Wapenboeck of Cornelis van Aecken. (You can see the entire armorial on-line at http://www.kb.nl/bladerboek/wapenboek/browse/book.html.)
It was causing a bit of commentary because, well, it is a bit unusual, and not the sort of charge that one normally expects to find when looking through old heraldry books (you know, lions and eagles and horses and such).
There is another rendition of these arms from the Kaffee Hag albums pictured over on Ralf Hartemink's Heraldry of the World website.
Still, the arms do make sense when you understand that they are actually canting arms; that is, the charge is a pun on the name: Abbenbroek is "abbot's breeches or pants." (Broek can also mean "wet fields" in medieval Dutch.) So the only charge on the shield here is a pair of abbot's pants.
So, to go back to the title of this post, does this answer the question posed to basketball star Michael Jordan in some underwear TV advertisements of a few years ago, "boxers or briefs?"