An uncle of mine by marriage, who was a very distinguished historian, once asked me, when I was a young man, whether I was interested in Heraldry. I said that I was not. ‘I'm glad of that,” he said, “heraldry strikes me as being for a historian about on the same level of interest as stamp collecting.” – Maurice Keen, in the Preface to Origins of the English Gentleman
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 recently ran across an article I hadn't seen before about an old heraldic roll of arms that had been found in a London antique shop o...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Monday, January 18, 2016
Heraldry of the Decadence, Part 2
Or maybe this could be subtitled, "Ministry of Silly Blazons" or some other such Monty Python-esque title.
Anyway, having done planets and gemstones as alternatives to the usual names of the tinctures in English blazon, we turn to some of the even more esoteric (and never used) blazon schemes.
In an attempt to keep some of these various blazon schemes organized, here are four which are thematically linked: blazon by Signs of the Zodiac; Seasons and Times of Day; Months; and Days.
Yes, these have all actually been promoted by one heraldic author or another as a way, I have to assume, to make heraldry even more esoteric and difficult to understand.
Signs of the Zodiac:
Gules Aries and Scorpio
Azure Taurus and Libra
Sable Capricorn and Amphora
Vert Gemini and Virgo
Purpure Sagittarius and Pisces
(The only advantage I can see to this scheme is that by having more than one sign of the Zodiac to use for the name of a color, you reduce the potential of having to repeat that tincture without resorting to the often-confusing "of the first," "of the second," "of the last," etc.)
Seasons and Times of Day:
Sable Winter and Night
Gules March and October
Azure April and September
Sable December and January
Vert May and August
Purpure November and February
(Here, too, we have the opportunity to not repeat the name of a tincture in a blazon. On the other hand, we have to remember two different names for each such color rather than one.)
(Okay, here I can see Sunday and Saturday as Or and Argent, if only because they match the planets blazon scheme of Sol and Luna (sun and moon). But what makes Thursday blue? Or Friday green? I'm at a loss here.)