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, January 8, 2018
Well, That Was Disconcerting
I mean, really, it should have been fairly easy! And yet ....
Still in St. Michael's Church in Linlithgow, Scotland, there was lovely, large brass candelabra.
And it had on its base two engraved coats of arms. (You can just make them out on the base in the photo above.) With hatching.
So I thought to myself, "Self, these arms should be fairly easy to identify. They seem to be pretty unique, with elements that should make finding them in or or another of the several Scottish and/or British ordinaries of arms pretty straightforward."
Well, apparently I has misinformed myself. Because I have not been able to identify either one of these coats of arms. I have found nothing like them in either of the two volumes of An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, nor in the more recent An Ordinary of Scottish Arms From Original Pre-1672 Manuscripts, nor in Burke's General Armory.
The arms that I found which were the nearest to either of these coats were two variants of Maxton which were similar to the second one above: Or a chevron gules between crosses crosslet fitchy azure and Or a chevron gules between three crosses crosslet fitchy sable.
Neither is really close enough to warrant an identification as a branch of Maxton.
So there you go. A beautiful artifact with some great heraldry on it, and even after a pretty comprehensive search, no identification. As I noted in the title of this post, it's disconcerting.
If you should happen to know the owner of either of these coats of arms, please feel free to leave your identification in the comments. (If the comments are not working for you - some folks have had difficulty posting a comment recently, and I still haven't figured out why - please email me at email@example.com and I will post your identification on here; with full credit to you, of course!)