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, July 11, 2016
Royal Coat of Arms Renovated in Boston
No, not the Boston in Massachusetts I am familiar with and have visited several times; this is a story from Boston, England.
The former custom house there, built in 1725, is currently home to Little Lions Nursery, which has spent some £1,500 to restore the Royal achievement of arms over the door (above).
The cast iron achievement of arms had suffered over the years, becoming badly faded, and the gold lion supporter having at one point been painted black.
The only issue that I have with the article about this otherwise heartening restoration is that it notes that Mr. Shane Gray, the owner of the business, was told that "the royal arms is itself more than 200 years old," which isn't possible. The Royal Arms of Great Britain did not take this form until the accession to the throne of Queen Victoria in June 1837 (because, as a woman, she was ineligible to use the Hanover quartering used by her predecessor and uncle). The 200th anniversary of that date is not for another 21 years, so this representation of the arms cannot be "more than 200 years old."
I also have an issue with the restoration itself, in that the second quarter (Scotland) appears to have been miscolored, with an argent (rather than the correct gules, or red) field sporting the golden lion rampant, within a double tressure flory counterflory sable or azure rather than gold.
Still, overall it's nice to see the restoration to its original glory of this royal achievement of arms taking place in the city of Boston for which Boston, Massachusetts is named.