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
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Arms of the Margraviate of Antwerp
You may have noticed, in the first picture in the last post, what appears to be another variant of the arms of the city of Antwerp; one with a charged chief.
You would not be wrong, but you wouldn't be entirely correct, either.
That coat of arms is not the arms of the city of Antwerp, but rather is the arms of the Margraviate (Mark, or March) of Antwerp. Wikipedia informs us that "The Margraviate of Antwerp (or Mark of Antwerp) consisted since the eleventh century of the area around the cities of Antwerp and Breda."
There were, in the years between 874 and 1190, twelve Margraves of Antwerp. In 1106, the Margraviate was united with the Duchy of Lower Lorraine. The Duchy was abolished in 1190, and its titles (but not its lands) were given to the Duke of Brabant.
Anyway, as the Margraviate of Antwerp was created under the Holy Roman Emperor, its coat of arms consists of the arms of the city of Antwerp (Gules a four-walled triple-towered castle and in chief two hands, the dexter bendwise and the sinister bendwise sinister, all argent), with the upper half (or sometimes, just a chief, Or a double-headed eagle displayed sable beaked and legged or.
This first image is from the (then-covered for renovation and restoration) facade of the town hall, with a field divided Per fess and surmounted with a coronet of a Marquis (Margrave):
Here the arms of the Margraviate are at the peak of the window (you can click on this, or any other, image to see a larger version); the division of the field is too high for a per fess division, but is also a little low for to be a charged chief.
In this final image (which also has two images of the arms of the city of Antwerp), on the upper left of this window, the coat of arms of the Margraviate are more clearly a field and a charged chief.
Once again, we will be revisiting the windows here to discuss some of the other heraldry contained in them.