“How deceived I have been … From your letters [of presentation] I understood you to be an ambassador, but all I got was a herald….” (Elizabeth I, responding to a young and importunate ambassador from the King of Poland who spoke out of turn and in inappropriate language, 1597)
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, February 6, 2017
Carved Arms in the Trades Hall
As I noted in my post of Januarhy 23, inside the front entrance of the Trades Hall in Glasgow is a long row of carved wooden benches.
These oak benches run the full length of the passageway, stretching over ten meters (32 feet). They are believed to have been made by Belgian woodcarvers who were refugees in Glasgow during the First World War. Alexander Walker, a former Deacon of the Cordiners, gifted the benches to the Trades House in 1937.
In addition to the carved armrests, you can see that the backs are also carved, having coats of arms in relief. From the left (the far end) to the right (nearest the entrance), these arms are as follows. (You should be able to click on each image to see the full size one. I recommend doing that to get the full effect of all the detail of these armorial carvings.)
L-R: The Coopers, Fleshers, Masons, Gardeners, Barbers, and (Bonnetmakers and) Dyers.
The Weavers, Bakers, Skinners, and Wrights.
The Hammermen, Tailors, Cordiners, and Maltmen.
The Merchants House, the Trades House, the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow, the Physicians, the University of Glasgow, and the Clyde Trust.
Bruges (Belgium), Mons (Belgium), Kirkaldy, and Liege (Belgium).
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Scotland (the Royal Arms), Belgium, Brussels, and Antwerp.
And finally, Namur, Hasselt, Ghent, and Arlon.
You can find additional pictures of these benches and the arms carved into them, taken by a professional photographer with better lighting that shows the carvings more clearly than my poor efforts here, on-line at http://www.tradeshousemuseum.org/oak-benches.html
All in all, it's an amazing collection of hand-carved heraldry, a tribute to the craftsmen of Glasgow by other craftsmen fleeing the horrors of war.