Thursday, April 30, 2020

And We're Off ... to Belgium!

So, having finally finished going through my earlier pictures of heraldry in Stuttgart and Heidelberg from a couple of trips taken several years ago, we are now up to our trip to Europe in 2019, with stops in Belgium (specifically, Antwerp and Ghent) and Denmark (Copenhagen, with side trips to Fredericksborg, Helsingør, and Roskilde).

So first, Belgium, whose national arms are blazoned Sable a lion rampant or armed and langued gules.

If you arrive in Antwerp by train, as you come out of the Central Station, be sure to turn around and take a look up:

You will see a gilded rendition of the Belgian national arms in front of an obelisk and supported by two lions:

These arms will also be seen done in stained glass in the nearby Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal), here flanked by the arms of Antwerp (left) and Brugge/Bruges (right):

It is possible (there was no attribution of the arms on the window) that this coat of arms is meant to be that of the Duchy of Brabant. Given that the two coats - Belgium and Brabant - are identical, it's hard to be certain.

In any case, we will certainly be seeing a lot more from the interior of the Cathedral in future posts; there is a lot of heraldry to be found there.

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Final Coat of Arms in the Holy Spirit Church in Heidelberg, Germany

We now come to the end of our look at some of the heraldry that can be found in the Heiliggeistkirche (Holy Spirit Church, where my great-great-grandparents first met, one from each side of the wall that divided the church's interior, separating the Catholics - in this case, my great-great-grandfather - from the Protestants - my great-great-grandmother) and other coats of arms in and around the city of Heidelberg, Germany.

This is not to say that I don't have more pictures of coats of arms from there, but they will have to wait until I have had the time to identify them before I post them here.

In any event, our last coat of arms for this time around is the stained glass window in the Holy Spirit Church of the arms of  Conrad Lud[wig] Ammann.

He is found listed in the address book of the city of Heidelberg (together with the districts Neuenheim, Schlierbach and Handschuhsheim as well as the neighboring parts of the municipality Rohrbach) for the year 1914, along with Heinrick Bohrmann, Rob. P. Dittler, City Councilor Schmidt, and Georg Busch, as members of the Supervisory Board for the city.

My guess (because the orientation of the line of division and the lion is so generally rare), and because the arms do not appear in Rietstap's Armorial Général to either confirm or deny, is that the arms are facing to sinister in respect of the altar of the Church, so I would blazon them: Per bend argent and or, in chief a lion passant bendwise or and in base three bendlets sinister sable. (Or, perhaps, Per bend argent and bendy sinister of seven or and sable, on the line of division a lion passant or.)

If I am wrong in my supposition, then the arms could be blazoned: Per bend sinister argent and bendy of seven or and sable, on the line of division a lion passant to sinister or.

Either way, it's a lovely coat of arms, even if it does annoy strict proponents of the heraldic Rule of Tincture ("Color shall not be placed upon color, nor metal upon metal"; here, the golden lion on the argent portion of the field).

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Another Armorial Memorial in Holy Spirit Church

Our next, and final, armorial memorial in the Heiliggeistkirche (Holy Spirit Church) in Heidelberg, Germany, has the arms of a lady and her husband.

The lady is Theresia Ludowika Fortunata von Oberndorff (1767-1804), and her husband was Franz-Xaver Maria Joseph Johann Nepomuk Peter von Alcantara Franz de Paula Erasmus von Lerchenfeld-Brennberg (1758-1832).

The arms (and as always, you can click on the image above to see a larger, and thus more detailed, picture of the arms), placed above the memorial plaque, are found in Rietstap's Armorial Général as follows (my blazons in English follow Rietstap's below):

Dexter (baron) (the shield to your left):

Lerchenfeld zu Brennberg – Bav. (Barons du St.-Empire, 22 fev. 1653; comtes du St.-Empire, 31 mars 1779.) Aux 1 et 4 de gueules au chevron d’argent chargé sur la cime d’une alouette essorant au natural soutenue d’un monticule de sinople, l’oiseau du 1 contourné (Lerchenfield); aux 2 et 3 d’argent à trois montagnes accostées de sinople, percés in bas, vomissant chanune une flame d’or (Brennberg); sur le tout d’argent à huit losange e gueules, accolées dur deux rangs, chacun de quatre pièces, et aboutées (Alterchenfeld de Brennberg).

Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules on a chevron argent the top of a lark issuant proper from a mount vert (Lerchenfield); 2 and 3, Argent three mountains vert, pierced in base, each vomiting a flame or (Brennberg); overall an inescutcheon. Argent eight lozenges in two rows each of four pieces (Alterchenfeld de Brennberg).

Sinister (femme) (the shield to your right):

Oberndorff – Hesse, Bade (Comtes du St.-Empire, 19 avril 1790). Aux 1 et 4, parti d’or et d’azur, à l’aigle éployé partie de sable sur l’or et d’or sur l’azur, becqué membré et diademée d’or; 2 et 3, d’argent à la fasce de gueules accompagné de deux leopards d’azur, 1 en chef et 1 en pointe; sur le tout un écusson couronne aux armes d’Orberndorff qui sont de sable à une nonne de profil habillé de sable, le voile d’argent, assise dan une chaise de sable, devant un devidoir d’or, le fil de gueules.

Quarterly: 1 and 4, Per pale or and azure, an eagle counterchanged sable and or, beaked membered and crowned or; 2 and 3, Argent a fess gules between two leopards [lions passant guardant] azure; overall an inescutcheon of the arms of Orberndorff: Sable a nun in profile dressed in sable veiled argent sitting in a chair sable in front of a reel or the thread gules.

Monday, April 20, 2020

An Armorial Memorial in Holy Spirit Church

Winding down our delayed review of some of the heraldry that I encountered in Heidelberg, Germany, we come to this armorial memorial inside the Heiliggeistkirche, the Holy Spirit Church.

This is the memorial of Johann Christoph Sebastian von Hegele. He was a Catholic parish priest and dean in Heidelberg. He was a doctor of theology and a trusted adviser to the elector in church affairs, who died on February 23, 1735, a victim of the typhus epidemic which was then rampant in Heidelberg.

Rietstap gives us the following in his Armorial Général: Hegele – Palatinat (Barons, 24 Oct 1726). Ecusson, Aux 1 et 4 de sable au lion d’or, couronné du même; aux 2 et 3 de gueules à une autruche de sable, tenant en son bec un fer-à-cheval du même et posée sur un tertre de trois coupeaux de sinople; sue le tout d’azur à trois étoiles d’argent.

That blazon in English would be: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Sable a lion rampant crowned or; 2 and 3,  Gules an ostrich holding in its beak a horseshoe sable atop a mount of three hills vert; overall an inescutcheon Azure three estoiles argent.

The two Hegele crests are missing from this memorial: A demi-lion contourny crowned or, and An ostrich holding in its beak a horseshoe sable.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

A Pair of Foreign Arms in Heidelberg

One of the landmarks in the Old City of Heidelberg is the Hotel zum Ritter St. Georg, It is a lovely old building, built in 1592 as the residential- and business Haus zum Ritter St. Georg, on an already existing basement on the side of the town square and facing the Heiliggeistkirche (Holy Spirit Church).

It was built by a cloth merchant Charles Bélier (†1618 in Heidelberg), a Huguenot from Tournai, in what was then France and is now Belgium. Bélier left religiously intolerant France with his family and was welcomed in Heidelberg by the elector Friedrich III.

Prominently placed on the facade of the (now) Hotel zum Ritter is a pair of coats of arms.

I have been unable to find blazons for these two coats, and so am unable to give you the tinctures; however --

The coat on the left-hand is the canting arms of Charles Bélier, a ram rampant (ram in French is bélier). The coat to the right (sinister) are those of his wife, Francina Soriau, and contains two fish haurient addorsed. Her name appears on the shield behind the fish.

Each shield is supported by a single angel, and M. Bélier's arms are flanked with the date of the construction of the house, 1592.

Monday, April 13, 2020

An Heraldic Logo

Of course, not all the heraldry you might see in Heidelberg, Germany, is historic. Some of it, in fact, is just advertising.

Here we have, on a sign for Heidelberg Castle, a coat of arms for a brewer Palmbräu Beer. The motto below the name can be translated as "Pride of the people of Kraichgau", Kraichgau being a hilly region in Baden-Württemberg.

Nearby, I ran across another, less "in your face" advertisement for Palmbräu over a doorway on the exterior of a building (presumably a tavern!):

Though there are those in the heraldic world who look down on the use of heraldry in advertising products, to me it's just another way that heraldry can be and has been adapted for wider use out "in the world"; "feral" heraldry, if you like. And most of the time, I do like.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Variations on a Coat (of Arms)

It's always interesting to see how different artists, different artistic styles, different materials, and even different eras will adapt a coat of arms.

Here, for example, is an older, what one might consider to be a "standard" version of the coat of arms of Heidelberg: Sable a lion rampant or armed langued and crowned gules atop a trimount vert. (Two views, one to help give better context to the image, and then a closer version. As always, you can click on an image to see a larger, more detailed version.)

In the next two images, the finials of two flag/banner poles are basically a shieldless version of the city's coat of arms done in a very modern style, similar to but not quite Art Deco:

It's always a joy to see the ways in which a coat of arms can be modified to conform to changing artistic tastes, to evolve as artistic aesthetics change, so that they can remain relevant and, more importantly, useful.

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: