Monday, May 25, 2020

They Do It Here, Too!

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that periodically I get on my soapbox about blank cartouches; that is, shield shapes (heater, round, oval, decorative, whatever) which have a perfectly good surface for placing a coat of arms, but which are, in fact, left completely blank.

It is a fairly common thing to see, actually. I've run across it just about everywhere I have been, and I expect to see more in future travels.

Nonetheless, I find it to be irksome. Here's a perfectly good place for the display of heraldry, and it's been left blank, or at best decorated with a pattern.

Here are some of the blank cartouches that I ran across in Antwerp.

A wonderfully decorated balcony:

Lions supporting blank shields at the end of a bridge over the River Scheldt:

And, of course, ovals and circles (one a glass window with a papellony design), all of which could have been a display of actual heraldry:

I swear, there are times when I just want to borrow a tall enough ladder, buy, a few cans of spray paint, and go out there (probably at night; people tend to report such goings-on as vandalism, even if I might believe that I'm improving the ambiance) and fill in these blank shields with coats of arms. For example, if I were able to get to the first oval above, I might put my own coat of arms on it, like this:

Now, who's with me?

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