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 very recently ran across an item entitled "The First Known Printed Bookplate," and wouldn't you know it? The oldest bookplate is armorial!
It's a woodcut print dated to 1480, and the owner was the scholarly priest Hilprand Brandenburg of Biberach. He placed these hand-colored, printed bookplates in over 450 books he donated to the Carthusian monastery in Buxheim (near Memmingen), Germany. The one pictured above (and below) appears in Jacobus de Voragine's Sermones quadragesimales (Bopfingen, Württemberg, 1408).
Bookplates have a long and hallowed use for identifying the owners of books. (Indeed, I have and use several different designs of armorial bookplates myself.) And they have over the centuries taken on a number of different forms. See, for example, these (also armorial) bookplates for authors Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
But how interesting is it that the oldest known printed bookplate also happens to contain heraldry?