Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Little Heraldic Something to Sit In

In addition to the carved wooden Royal Arms in our last post, suitable for ornate display, Provand's Lordship has some more practical carved wooden coats of arms.

In particular, they have an oak chair, dated 1659, from Pircaple Castle in Aberdeenshire. The chair bears on it, as a sign notes, the "Lumsden coat of arms."

I have been unable to find this particular coat of arms in my sources. Burke's General Armory does have one coat that is close:

Lumsden (Cushnie, co. Aberdeen). Azure a buckle or between two wolf's heads and an escallop argent. As you can see, there is no buckle on this rendition.

The Lyon Ordinary by Balfour Paul gives these same arms (with the buckle) as belonging to Lumsden of Cushing, first matriculated 1672-7). They are also found in Nisbet's A System of Heraldry (1722) for Alexander Lumsden of Cushnie, and in Burke's Landed Gentry, for Lumsden of Pitcaple (not Pircaple, as the sign noted).

An Ordinary of Scottish Arms From Original Pre-1672 Manuscripts by Eilean and John Malden and William G. Scott notes: Lumsden of Cushnie, Argent a chevron sable between two wolf's heads gules and an escallop or.

Is the coat carved here an error for Lumsden of Cushnie/Cushing? Or Lumsden of Pitcaple? Is it a differenced version of those arms, removing the buckle (or the chevron)? Or is there some other explanation? From what I have been able to find, I cannot make a judgment one way or another.

Except, of course, to note that, really, this chair doesn't look all that comfortable to sit on.

Just sayin'.

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