“What is it that induceth you, what stirs you up to believe, or who told you that white signifieth faith, and blue constancy? An old paltry book, say you, sold by the hawking pedlars and balladmongers, entitled The Blason of Colours. Who made it? Whoever it was, he was wise in that he did not set his name to it. But, besides, I know not what I should rather admire in him, his presumption or his s...ottishness. His presumption and overweening, for that he should without reason, without cause, or without any appearance of truth, have dared to prescribe, by his private authority, what things should be denotated and signified by the colour: which is the custom of tyrants, who will have their will to bear sway in stead of equity, and not of the wise and learned, who with the evidence of reason satisfy their readers. His sottishness and want of spirit, in that he thought that, without any other demonstration or sufficient argument, the world would be pleased to make his blockish and ridiculous impositions the rule of their devices.” - Rabelais
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...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Thursday, June 12, 2014
So ... "Boxers or Briefs?"
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?"