The alphabet is one set of arbitrary symbols. The figures of heraldry are another set of arbitrary symbols. In the fourteenth century every gentleman knew one: in the twentieth century every gentleman knows the other. The first gentleman was just precisely as ignorant for not knowing that c-a-t spells "cat," as the second gentleman is for not knowing that a St. Andrew's Cross is called a cross saltire, or that vert on gules is bad heraldry. -- G.K. Chesterson
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, January 11, 2016
An Interesting Old Spanish Armorial Digitized
There are times that I just love living in this day and age!
"Why is that," you ask? Well, because with today's technology, and the willingness of increasing numbers of libraries and archives from all over the world to scan and upload some of their holdings, it means that I can find, look at, research in, and often download armorials and other books about heraldry of whose existence I might not even otherwise know, or ever get to see even if I did know about them.
A case is point is this one: a manuscript copy of Genealogía de varias casas (Genealogy of various houses), which has been digitized and uploaded by the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the National Library of Spain.
It begins with the "Linaje y Armas de Nuestra Señora la Virgen Maria" (the lineage and arms of Our Lady the Virgin Mary) ...
goes on through the lineage and arms of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and eventually, within its 588 folios, the lineage and arms of a lot of Spanish families, such as the typically Spanish shield of the Gallegos family.
It's a wonderful work, into which somebody put an awful lot of work, and now it has been scanned and uploaded by the BNE to be seen, and downloaded (in three separate, large .pdf files) by folks like you and me.
You can find the Genealogía de varia casas (or to use the handwritten title on one of the pages, Genealogías de Varias Casas con sus Armas y Blasones Illuminados) on the website of the National Library of Spain at http://bdh-rd.bne.es/viewer.vm?id=0000013621&page=1 (I've already added this link to the "Some Good On-Line Armorials" section in the left-hand column of this blog, so you can find it later if you need to without having to track down this specific post.)
That page will show you the three .pdf files, allowing you to click on one and then page through it (or there is a link by each one allowing you to download it), or if you click on "Mostrar miniaturas", you can scroll through thumbnails of every page in the complete volume.