A microscopic piece of heraldry necessarily stands condemned, because it merely pretends to hint that the owner thinks himself a person of distinction, instead of performing the true function of enabling the casual observer to identify the owner. Monograms and unostentatious heraldry are therefor the badge of the parvenu, and such heraldry is usually bogus. Genuine arms are almost always displayed boldly and beautifully at every possible opportunity, indoors and out. --
Thomas Innes of Learney, Scots Heraldry, pp. 161-162
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.
This is what happens when an heraldic artist has never seen anything more than a very rough description of an heraldic beast when painting ...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Monday, May 18, 2015
I respect heraldry; really, I do. Unfortunately, that respect is not always shown by others.
In a somewhat cringe-worthy example of this (found in the Facebook group "Heraldry Hall of Shame"; not a group for the weak of heart. You have been warned!), I ran across the following the other day:
It's the logo (I really cannot call this a coat of arms) of DN Van Lines of New England and Florida, based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, west of Boston (and just a short drive up I-495 from where my parents grew up in Milford, Hopkinton, and Upton).
So what all do I find that is just so "wrong" about this logo? Besides the quartering, I mean. Here, let me count the ways.
They are not a "Royal" anything, so the imperial crown sitting atop the shield is entirely out of place.
They clearly don't understand what mantling is, or what it was used for, since there a just a few bits of mantling issuing from the crown and from the sides of the shield.
The "supporters" (each a lion sejant erect) are clearly crests, given that each one is sitting atop a torse or wreath.
The "motto scroll" does not contain a motto, only the "Van Lines" portion of the company name.
Should I try to go on? ("No, no, can't go on. Stiff upper lip's gone limp." [from an old Danny Kaye movie])
I will just say that it's too bad that they couldn't find someone (anyone!) in the area who knew something of heraldry and could help them design a decent heraldic logo for their company. Really.