An uncle of mine by marriage, who was a very distinguished historian, once asked me, when I was a young man, whether I was interested in Heraldry. I said that I was not. ‘I'm glad of that,” he said, “heraldry strikes me as being for a historian about on the same level of interest as stamp collecting.” – Maurice Keen, in the Preface to Origins of the English Gentleman
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
There is a lot of heraldic display on view at Heidelberg Castle in Germany.
Today, and in the next two posts, we're going to look at some of the territorial arms in and about the Castle; that is the arms of the Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) and Bavaria (Bayern) to be seen there, sometimes quartered, sometimes on separate shields, and sometimes on separate shields along with the arms of the Archidapifer (chief food bearer) and HRE Elector.
Today, Rheinland-Pfalz and Bayern quartered on a single shield:
And Rheinland-Pfalz and Bayern quartered with an inescutcheon of the Archidapifer/Elector: