Monday, April 6, 2020

Some Heraldic "Old Friends" in Heidelberg, Germany

Leaving Heidelberg Castle and going down into the Old City of Heidelberg itself, I ran across some familiar heraldry there.

These two, seen inside the Holy Spirit Church (Heiliggeistekirche) you may recognize, too:

The arms of the Palatine (Rheinland-Pfalz) and Bavaria (Bayern), on separate shields on a pillar ...

... and as quartered arms on a ceiling boss:

Another coat of arms that we've seen before are the arms of Baden (Or a bend gules), found here on a stained glass window:

It's always fun to look around and recognize some coats of arms as "old friends" with which we are familiar!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

New! And Improved!

Well, okay, to be honest, it isn't really new.

And, frankly, although it is improved some, it's not really improved all that much.

With that disclaimer, over the past week I have been updating my American Heraldry Collection with an additional source of historical arms used in what is now the United States of America.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society has recently digitized and uploaded to their website five of the original volumes in a New Database: Roll of Arms Registered by the NEHGS, 1915-1945. This series of images is of the originally drawn and blazoned arms of the first 378 coats of arms registered by the Committee on Heraldry. Though the names, blazons, and line drawings of these arms (as well as the other 363 which have been registered since 1945) have been published in the book A Roll of Arms available for sale on the NEHGS website's bookstore, I have found that being able to see the original color paintings of the arms was helpful in deciphering some of the blazons where I had a question about what exactly was meant, and was thus able to revise the blazons in my American Heraldry Collection to be more accurate.

Anyway, having reviewed all 378 coats in this new NEHGS database and either confirmed (in the majority of cases) or modified their blazons, or added information from this database as a new entry (and sometimes being able to combine a couple of separate entries into a single unified one), I have updated and uploaded the New and Improved™ American Heraldry Collection so that if you are interested, you can download it for your own use.

It's in a .zip file that contains two documents: a .docx file that gives some background on the Collection as well as a key to all of the sources used; and a .xlsx file that contains all of the blazons of the arms and crests, and the sources for, each surname.

The Collection can always be downloaded by clicking on the link labeled "American Heraldry Collection" in the left-hand column of this blog under the Heading "Some Articles I Have Written".

Or, if you simply cannot wait to do it by scrolling down a little, it can be found here:


Monday, March 30, 2020

An Unexpected Coat of Arms in Heidelberg Castle

For our "last stop" in our review of some of the heraldry in Heidelberg Castle, we find two depictions -- one carved in red sandstone (the first two images taken from different angles immediately below), and one on a painted armorial ceiling boss -- of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of Aragon and the Two Sicilies).

The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (created from the merger of the Kingdom of Sicily with the Kingdom of Naples; the latter also called itself the Kingdom of Sicily, thus leading to the term Utraque Sicilia, "both Sicilies") consisted of the island of Sicily and the Italian peninsula south of the Papal States. It was the largest sovereign state by both population and size prior to the unification of Italy in 1861. This area of the the Mediterranean world has a long and involved history, much too long and involved to get into here. Suffice it to say here that for a time in the late 15th Century, the Two Sicilies was ruled by Alfonso V of Aragon, hence the incorporation of the arms of Aragon into the shield here..

The arms of the Two Sicilies are blazoned: Quarterly in decusse [per saltire]: 1 and 4, Or four pallets gules (Aragon); 2 and 3, Argent an eagle displayed sable crowned or (Sicily).

The ceiling boss is slightly mispainted: Aragon here is shown as Paly of six gules and or, and the eagles are not crowned.

In the carved (monochrome) depictions, the eagles are crowned, but here, too, Aragon is portrayed as Paly of six.

Despite the errors in the representations of this coat of arms, it was, once again, a bit of a treat to find an unanticipated coat of arms here. I mean, really, when wandering about southern Germany, one does not normally expect to see heraldry from southern Italy, right? Still, kind of cool!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Some Stained Glass Personal Arms in Heidelberg Castle

But more than just cities and towns have stained glass depictions of their heraldry in Heidelberg Castle.

Here are three stained glass windows with personal coats of arms that I saw and was able to make some identifications:

This first are the arms of Volker von Alzey, the minstrel at the court of Burgundy in Worms (on the left), shown with him (holding his "fiddle") as well as Hagen (who killed Siegfried) and Kriemhilde (Siegfried's wife) from the Nibelungenlied.

Jacob Hottinger. I hope to learn more about this Jacob Hottinger (and the three shields on this stained glass window), as my great-great-grandmother was Carolina Phillipina Hottinger, born and died in Heidelberg, and I've traced her paternal line back three more generations to Valentin Hottinger (born about 1740-50). The window is dated 1604, so that's further back than I have been able to trace so far, but the possibilities of a personal relation to Jacob Hottinger here are certainly intriguing:

And Georg Strasburger. The window here is dated 1610.

Fascinating stuff, right?

Monday, March 23, 2020

Stained Glass Civic Heraldry in Heidelberg Castle, Part 3 of 3

We finish up our review of come of the stained glass civic coats of arms in Heidelberg Castle with this final eight:

Oppenheim, Germany (the upper of the three shields, one and two, being the Palatinate (Pfalz) quartered with Bavaria (Bayern)):

Pfeddersheim, Germany:

Sinsheim, Germany:

Starkenburg, Germany (with Bavarian (Bayern) and the Palatinate (Pfalz) in the smaller shields in chief):

Traben-Trarbach, Germany:

Wachenheim, German (basically the quartered arms of the Palatinate (Pfalz) and Bavaria (Bayern):

Weinheim, Germany (with the upper half of the shield consisting of the Palatinate (Pfalz) and Bavarial (Bayern):

and finally, Wiesloch, Germany (the Palatinate impaled with Bavaria):

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Stained Glass Civic Heraldry in Heidelberg Castle, Part 2

Continuing our survey of some of the armorial stained glass of civic coats of arms in Heidelberg Castle, we have the next nine:

Kirchberg (Hunsrück), Germany:

(The canting arms of) Kreuznach, Germany:

Ladenburg, Germany:

Lindenfels, Germany:

Mannheim, Germany:

Mossbach, Germany:

Neckargemünd, Germany:

Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany:

and Oggersheim, Germany:

Monday, March 16, 2020

Stained Glass Civic Heraldry in Heidelberg Castle, Part 1

There is a lot of armorial stained glass in Heidelberg Castle. In this and the next two posts, I will share some of the civic coats of arms that can be found there.

Here are the first ten (of 28) coats I have been able to identify (admittedly, some of them were pretty easy, as the name of the city/town/region were written on the glass):

Boxberg, Germany:

Caub am Rheim (Kaub), Germany:

Eppingen, Germany:

Frankenthal, Germany:

Germersheim, Germany:

Groß-Umstadt, Germany:

Heidelberg, Germany:

Heppenheim, Germany (the small shields on either side are those of Bavaria (Bayern) and the Palatinate (Pfalz), both of which we have seen in recent posts, respectively):

Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany:

and finally, Kaiserslautern, Germany:

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Rheinland-Pfalz and Bayern in Heidelberg Castle, Part 4

And finally we come to look at the displays of the arms of the Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) and Bavaria (Bayern) done on separate shields but also including the arms of the office of Archidapifer (chief food steward) and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

Obviously, this last example is done in stained glass. (We are going to start on some of the many examples of stained glass heraldry in the Castle in our next post.) Of especial note is the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece (the flints and firesteels) around the shield of the Archidapifer.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Rheinland-Pfalz and Bayern in Heidelberg Castle, Part 3

For our next look at the displays of the arms of the Palatinate (sometimes called the Rhenish Palatinate) (Rheinland-Pfalz) and Bavaria (Bayern), we find several with the arms on two separate shields, accompanied by a third shield (which we would from experience expect to be the arms of the Archidapifer or chief food steward) but which in these instances is left either plain (in one instance) or diapered* in the others.

* Diapered: decorated with a geometric or floral pattern as a way of relieving a plain surface. Diapering is a matter of artistic license, and should not be confused with charges on a shield.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Rheinland-Pfalz and Bayern at Heidelberg Castle, Part 2

This time, we're looking at displays of the Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) and Bavaria (Bayern) in Heidelberg Castle done on separate shields, but placed in the talons of the eagle of the Holy Roman Empire.

I find that carved, painted, and gilded one on the ceiling to be an amazing display of heraldry!