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.
I ran across a recent discussion about the coat of arms of Jan van Abbenbroek in The Netherlands, which appear in an old armorial, the Wape...
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Monday, May 29, 2017
Another Armorial Chair
There was another not-very-comfortable-looking chair in Provand's Lordship in Glasgow with a coat of arms carved into its back. This one, alas, did not have a sign giving any information about it, so we are pretty much left on our own to try to ferret out the arms here.
After going through several of my ordinaries (books that organize coats of arms by the charges on the shield) for Scottish heraldry, I believe that these arms carved here are a variant of Mercer, many of which are in the form of On a fess between three crosses (usually paty, sometimes crosses crosslet, sometimes plain) three roundels.
The Mercer arms that come closest to the arms on this chair were found in An Ordinary of Scottish Arms for Mr. Robert Mercer of Cannaway: Or on a fess between three crosses paty in chief gules and in base a mullet azure three bezants. The Lyon Ordinary, Volume I, gives this same blazon for Mercer of Aldie (1672-7).
The crosses on this chair might more specifically be blazoned as crosses moline, but may very well fall within the more general description of crosses paty (a cross in which the arms widen as they extend out from the center.
So do we have an identification for this coat of arms? I think that we do: Mercer.
But still, I'm not certain that I'd want to sit in this chair for very long, with all that carving digging into my back. I'll stick to my leather recliner, thank you very much!