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, December 30, 2019
You Just Never Know Where You Might See Heraldry
So my wife and I went to a small antiques show/fair a couple of weeks ago, mostly because a friend of hers had a booth there, as well as because you never know, we might find something that we just can't live without.
It shouldn't have been surprising, because as I've said many times before, "you can find heraldry everywhere!", but there we were, and there it was -- heraldry!
In this specific instance, one dealer had a pair of cast metal bookends (I'm not showing you the whole picture, as he requested that I not upload the pictures I took of them to the internet, and I promised that I wouldn't, so you're just seeing the details here) with the seal of the University of Pennsylvania on them.
At the base of the seal on each of the bookends was the arms of the original Proprietor of Pennsylvania, William Penn, Argent on a fess sable three plates.
Yes, the bookends are heraldic; no, I didn't buy them. (The price was a little steep for my current budget, I have no personal relationship to the University, and I'd have to try to find a place in the house to put them. Plus, for some reason I no longer feel the need to buy every item I see that has heraldry on it. So, yeah, I took a couple of photographs of them and then left them there.)
The coat of arms on the bookends is not the one that the University currently uses, though as you can see from the image below, the arms they use are clearly related to/based on Penn's arms (with elements from Benjamin Franklin's arms on the chief).
All in all, a fun little bit of heraldic serendipity as part of a pleasant morning getting out of the house with my wife!