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 am familiar with many of the chiefs of affiliation to be found in Italian heraldry: the capo dell'Impero (the chief of the Holy Roman Empire, demonstrating affiliation with the Guelphs),
and the capo d'Angio (the chief of Anjou, showing affiliation with the Ghibellines) (the example of Aldonbrandi below has the chief of Anjou placed on arms which already contained a chief, on a chief or two grape leaves vert).
And another, more complex version of the capo d'Angio:
And, of course, some of the others, not quite so well known or common, such as the capo di Savoia (the chief of Savoy, a red chief with a white cross throughout), the capo di San Stefano (the chief of St. Stephen, below), and others.
But in going through some old Italian armorials looking for something else (as I noted before, camels), I came across a few examples of a chief of affiliation I had not run across before:
This chief of affiliation doesn't even show up in my copy of di Valfrei's Dizionario di Araldica, which lists a few other chiefs of affiliation I hadn't seen before. I can only think of this particular chief of affiliation (which is different from the capo di Firenze (the chief of Florence, a white chief charged with a fleur-de-lis florency gules) as a capo de'Medici, a chief of the Medici (the second example on the arms of Karafantoni, may be more specifically related to one of the Medici popes).