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.
I recently ran across an article I hadn't seen before about an old heraldic roll of arms that had been found in a London antique shop o...
Genealogical Speakers Guild
Genealogical Speakers Guild
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!