Thursday, April 29, 2021

Another Coat of Arms Just Across the Street

Our hotel being right on the corner, and having looked at the arms on the Odd Fellows Mansion directly across one street, we now come to the arms on the building directly across the other street, on the building labeled Haandvækerforeningen. (We could actually see this building from our hotel room window!)

This building now houses the Association of Craftsmen in Copenhagen (in Danish: Haandværkerforeningen i Kjøbenhavn), an interest organization based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Its 2,200 members are owners of small and medium-large companies. It is affiliated with 35 guilds and industry organizations. Its headquarters is Moltke's Mansion.

The building has a long and interesting history. It was built for Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, the illegitimate son of King Frederick III (at the time Prince-Archbishop of Bremen and coadjutor of the Bishopric of Halberstadt). When his father became King of Denmark in 1648, Ulrik Frederik assumed the surname Gyldenløve which was used by illegitimate sons of Danish kings (not unlike some of the illegitimate sons of the kings of England being called Fitzroy).

The mansion was built between 1700 and 1702 and was originally known as Gyldenløve's Little Mansion (in contrast to his larger mansion, now the Charlottenborg Palace at Kongens Nytorv).

The house received its current name in 1842, after it was acquired by Adam Wilhelm von Moltke, Count of Bregentved in 1818, the first Danish Prime Minister under the Danish constitutional monarchy.

The arms over the door (above), however, are not those of Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, whose arms are depicted in the arms books of the Order of the Elephant which have been digitized by Denmark and are available to view on the internet. Ulrik's arms (below) are found at:

As you can see, they are nothing like the (much simpler) arms on the mansion, surmounted by the coronet of a count.

These are the arms of Adam William von Moltke, seen in the inescutcheon of his greater arms from the arms books of the Order of the Elephant,

These lesser arms are blazoned: Or three "primordial" or Moltke birds sable. (Personally, I see no difference between these "primordial" or Moltke birds and ravens/crows/choughs, but maybe that's just me.) The lesser arms alone are seen earlier in the same volume in the entry for Anthony Henry von Moltke.

In addition to the von Moltke arms over the doorway, the windows of the mansion are chock full of heraldic symbolism, especially in the lion's and elephant's faces, along with the massive swag garlands, surrounding them. (Lions appear on the lesser arms of Denmark, and elephants, of course, are from the Order of the Elephant.)

As always, you can click on an image to see a larger, more detailed copy of each photograph.

And here's two more with a better view of the elephant's faces:

All in all, an amazing display of heraldry and heraldic symbolism, over an entire building!

Next time, we go a little further afield in the next episode of "Hunting for Heraldry".

Monday, April 26, 2021

There Is Always Heraldry Nearby

One of the (many) things that I like about Europe is that there is always heraldry to be seen nearby. Often very nearby. Right outside the front door, many times. (Sometimes right outside your window, but we'll get to that one next time.)

In this instance, our hotel was right across the street from this building.

Here's another shot, with closer view of the armorial achievement on the façade and the flagpole, where you can see the flag better:

The letters on the flag read: I.O.O.F. DANMARK (along with the three link chain emblem of the organization), for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The building is known now as the Oddfellows Mansion.

All that is interesting enough by itself; I mean, our home in the small town where I graduated from high school was diagonally across the nearest intersection from the local Oddfellows hall. But of course it was the heraldry that intrigued me the most.

The arms are surrounded by a collar of the Danish Order of the Elephant, and the shield is surmounted with the coronet of a Danish count. (Please feel free to click on any of the images above to see a larger, more detailed version.)

It turns out that these are the arms of Christian August von Berkentin or Berckenthin, Greve af Berkentin, a German count in Danish service. His arms would be blazoned in English as: Per fess or and argent a pile issuant from sinister throughout gules. His arms, too, appear in the digitized books of the Order of the Elephant, at

Count von Berkentin's career is an interesting one, and you can learn more about him, and his house, at on-line at

Before it became known as the Odd Fellows Mansion in 1900 when the IOOF bought it, the residence was known as the Berckentin, and later the Schimmelmann Mansion, after its successive owners.

What an interesting history this building has. And isn't it great that they have kept the heraldry of the original owner, for whom the mansion was built?

Thursday, April 22, 2021

More Arms on the Hôtel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen?

Some of my more eagle-eyed readers may have noticed another coat of arms on the façade of the Hôtel d’Angleterre (Hotel of England, or English Hotel) in Copenhagen, seen in my last post.

Let's take another look:

Look closely, now. (It might help to click on either or both of the images above to see a larger version of each.) Below the name of the hotel, you can see a cartouche surrounded with the collar of the Order of the Elephant (Denmark's highest ranked honor).

Here's another example found on an awning at the hotel:

This one, though, while it is surrounded by a collar, that collar is clearly not that of the Order of the Elephant, nor of any other knightly order. (It's also a bit weird to have the shield of the arms placed on an eight-pointed star of a form like the star of a knightly order.) And the disconnected "wreath" which encircles that, is of oak to dexter (left) and laurel to sinister (right); the whole surmounted by a mural coronet (which usually indicative of a municipality rather than an individual).

The carved arms on the façade look real, but the version on the canopy look made up. So I am left with the question borrowed from an old audiotape commercial: Is it real, or is it Memorex just a made-up logo?

Fortunately for me (and for all of us, really), Denmark has digitized and uploaded the arms books of the Order of the Elephant and the Order of the Dannebrog from the 1600s through the 1990s. (The main page though which these books can be accessed is at:

In looking through the books, I found this coat of arms and other personal information at for "Fridericus de Gram" (in Latin), or Frederick von Gram.

This is not the only member of the von Gram family to have been made a member of the Order of the Elephant (the other two being Frederick Charles von Gram and Charles Christian von Gramm), but looking up Frederick (or Friedrich) von Gram on-line, I discovered the following, which clinched the identity of the arms on the façade of the Hotel:

In Copenhagen, Gram owned the stately "Gramske Gård" (Gramschen Hof), which was built during the reign of Christian V by his Storkansler Friedrich von Ahlefeldt and which has been known since 1795 as the Hotel d'Angleterre.

So now we know! The arms on the Hotel are real, despite the way they seem to have been turned into a logo on the awning there.

And, of course, we can now give them their proper tinctures, and blazon them as: Per pale: dexter, Azure in pale three mullets (of six points) or; sinister, Gules an increscent moon argent.

And just how great is it that we are able to do this detective work and find a definitive answer to the question asked above: Is it [a] real [coat of arms], or is it Memorex just a made-up logo?

Monday, April 19, 2021

Velkommen til Danmark, og Velkommen til København

So, having finished our heraldic tour of Belgium, in the cities of Antwerp and Ghent, we hopped a plane to Copenhagen, Denmark. And it didn't take us long to see heraldry there, either!

Indeed, on the way from the airport to our hotel, we passed the Hôtel d’Angleterre:*

Which has, right at the top center of its façade, the arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

What this meant, of course, is that the first heraldry that we saw was what I described in another post just a couple of weeks ago as an "heraldic stray", a coat of arms belonging to someone or something from somewhere other than where it appeared.

The saving factor, if you will, of finding right off the bat (or rather, right off the airplane) the arms of the UK in central Copenhagen, Denmark, is that the same display of heraldry also features not one, not two, but three Dannebrogs, the Danish national flag (Gules a Nordic cross argent; a "Nordic cross" on a flag is one set to dexter, like a Latin cross fesswise).

So, as I said in the title to this post: Welcome to Denmark, and Welcome to Copenhagen.

Which welcome was followed almost immediately by a representation of the arms of the United Kingdom.

So there you go. Not quite what I had expected, but then, heraldry does seem to have a way of surprising us when we look for it.

* Yeah, I know. That name is not Danish; it is French, for the Hotel of England, or the English Hotel. I have no idea why a hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, would be named in French.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

A Final Post from St. Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium

This final post about heraldry in St. Bavo's Cathedral, and indeed the final post from Ghent and from Belgium, is a bit of potpourri of heraldry.

Are there more coats of arms in the cathedral that I haven't posted about? Yes, yes there are. But I have been unable to (so far) confirm the identity of the armigers, and since there are only so many hours in the day, and I've got other things to do (and to post about), and the final few coats of arms will require more and more time per coat to identify, thus leading to diminishing returns, we're going to call it quits for now.

Among the final few bits of heraldry, we have an interesting selection, done in glass, in metal, and in stone.

First up is this lovely window, with six coats of arms incorporated into it. Fortunately for us, they actually labeled each coat, making a rough identification very easy.

Running from left to right in the upper part of the window, we have the arms of:

Halewyn, Argent three lions rampant sable;
Kethulle, Sable a fess conjoined to a demi-pale in chief argent between three mullets of six points or;
Vilein, Sable a chief argent;
Crane, Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent eight billets two one two one and two sable; 2 and 3, Gules; Ravescot, Or three ravens close sable; and
Ryne, Azure a millrind or.

(As always, you can click on the image above to see a larger, more detailed picture.)

Then, in metal, we ran across this heraldic "stray" (I call it a "stray" because it's found someplace where you wouldn't expect to find it, far from its home):

I always find it interesting, that nearly wherever I go, I seem to run across one depiction or another of the royal arms of England or Great Britain.

Here, of course, on the base of a stand, is the coat of arms of England from 1406 to 1603. Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure three fleurs-de-lis or (France modern); 2 and 3, Gules three lions passant in pale or (England).

Finally, we have two armorial shields literally carved in stone:

On this highly ornate memorial, we have these arms:

These are the arms of Eugeen-Albert, count d'Allamont (1609–1673), Bishop of Ghent from 1666-1673. We know what the colors of the shield are, both from the stained glass window of the arms of the first 28 Bishops of Ghent, and from an armorial portrait of him (immediately below) that I ran across on Wikimedia.

The arms are blazoned: Gules a crescent on a chief argent a label of three tags azure.

And last, but certainly not least, we find this coat of arms:

These are the arms of Charles Maes (1559–1612), Bishop of Ghent from 1610-1612. Again, from the colored arms in the window commemorating the first 28 Bishops of Ghent, we know that these arms should be colored as: Azure three roses argent on a canton or a zule (column) gules.

And thus we end our heraldic tour of Antwerp and Ghent, Belgium. I hope that you have found at least some of these posts educational, or at the very least, sometimes interesting.

Next time, we head off to Denmark! Stay tuned to see what heraldic treasures we may have seen there!

Monday, April 12, 2021

And Then ... They Took Us Downstairs! Part 4

In this last part of the windows of the arms of the Knights of the Golden Fleece from the 1559 Chapter of the Order held in St. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, we see these arms:

Pietro Antonio San Severino, Duke of San Marco: Argent a fess gules a bordure azure.

Maximilian, King of Bohemia, Archduke of Austria (later HRE Maximilian II) (1527-1576): Or a double-headed eagle displayed sable on its breast an inescutcheon: Quarterly: 1, Barry argent and gules; 2, Gules a lion rampant argent; 3, Per pale, Gules a fess argent, and Or two bendlets azure within a bordure gules; and 4, Quarterly: i and iv, Gules a tower or; ii and iii, Argent a lion rampant (purpure).

Charles, Baron de Berlaymont (1510-1578): Barry of six vair and gules.

Cosimo I de' Medici, Duke of Florence (later the first Grand Duke of Tuscany) (1519-1574). Or six torteaux one two two and one the chiefmost Azure three fleurs-de-lis or.

Claude de Vergy, Comte de Gruères (1495-1560): Gules three roses (or cinquefoils) or.

(Yes, there's another coat of arms in the lower right, but it's blocked from view. Sorry!)

Here we have the top windows that specify that these are Knights of the Golden Fleece of the 1559 Chapter. Beneath those windows, we see the arms of:

Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, 4th Duke of l'Infantado (1503-1566). Per saltire: chief and base, Or the words Ave Maria in chief and Gratia Plena in base sable; in fess, Azure a bend sinister gules fimbriated or. The quarters are reversed in the window from what they ought to be. It may be that the arms were rotated clockwise 45 degrees when they were placed in the window, because if they were rotated 45 degrees counter-clockwise, they would be correct. Feel free to go back a few posts to compare with the stall plate for the Duke.

Friedrich von Fürstenberg (1496-1559): Or an eagle displayed gules a bordure per bordure nebuly azure and argent.

Joachim, Seigneur [lord] de Rye: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure an eagle displayed or; 2 and 3, Azure a bend or. (Yes, they did the bend effectively as a bordure here. Just another one of the issues of trying to place quartered arms on a lozenge shape!)

Ponthus de Lalaing, Seigneur de Bugnicourt: Gules ten lozenges conjoined three three three and one argent.

And this concludes our look at the stained glass windows of the arms of the knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece, tucked away in the bowels of St. Bavo's Cathedral.

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

And Then ... They Took Us Downstairs! Part 3

Today we look at the stained glass coats of arms of the Knights of the Golden Fleece from the 1559 Chapter held in the Cathedral, hidden away from the general public's view.

Here again, you can compare these arms to those on the stall plates we looked at earlier. And, of course, you can always click on an image to see a larger, more detailed picture of the arms.

Philippe de Stavele, Baron de Chaumont (1508-1562): Ermine a bend gules.

Andrea Doria, 1st Prince of Melfi (1466-1560): Per fess or and argent two ragged staffs in saltire gules overall an eagle displayed sable.

John III, King of Portugal (1502-1557), Charles V's brother-in-law. Argent five escutcheons in cross azure each charged with five plates in saltire all within a bordure gules semy of towers or.

Ascanio Sforza-Sforza, Count of Santa Fiora (1520-1575): Azure a lion rampant or maintaining in its sinister forepaw a rose or slipped and leaved argent.

Antonio Doria, Marquis of San Stefano: Per fess or and argent an eagle displayed sable crowned or between in dexter chief a demi-sun issuant and in fess two flames gules. (We missed seeing his arms in the stall plates, as it was tucked away out of view from where I was standing to take the picture. Sorry about that!)

Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma (1524-1586): Or on a pale gules between six fleurs-de-lis azure an ombrellino surmounted by a pair of keys in saltire or.

Jean de Hennin, 1st Comte de Boussu (1480-1562): Gules a bend or.

Jehan de Luxembourg, Count of Ligny: Argent a lion rampant gules langued and crowned or overall a label of three tags azure.

Jean de Ligne, Comte d'Arenberg (1525-1568): Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or a bend gules; 2 and 3, Argent three lions rampant gules.

Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alva (1508-1582): Checky of fifteen argent and azure.

Wratislaw von Pernstein (1530-1582): Or a bull’s head cabossed sable ringed or.

Charles de Brimeu, Comte de Meghem (1524/25-1572): Argent three eagles displayed gules.

Next time, we'll finish up these windows. See you then!

Monday, April 5, 2021

And Then ... They Took Us Downstairs! Part 2

Continuing our look at the stained glass windows with the arms of Knights of the Golden Fleece from the 1445 Chapter of the Order, find:

Gules a bend sinister or. (Possibly de Hennin, Seigneurs and Counts de Boussu, whose arms were Gules a bend or, but the dates of their induction and death do not permit them to be members at the time of the Chapters.) A little more likely is that the arms here are a miscoloration and reversal of Jehan de Neufchâtel, Seigneur de Montagu, Gules a bend argent.

Argent a fess sable. Could this be a reversal of the tinctures in the arms of Henry de Borsele, Seigneur of Vere, Count of Grandpre: Sable a fess argent? Given some of the other miscoloration issues in these windows, I think it likely.

Frédéric, called Valeran, Count of Meurs: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or a fess sable; 1 and 3, Sable a double-headed eagle displayed argent Quarterly: 1 and 4, Or a fess sable; 2 and 3, Azure a double-headed eagle displayed argent.

Florimond de Brimeu, Seigneur of Massincourt, or Jacques de Brimeu, Seigneur of Grigny, or David de Brimeu, Seigneur of Ligny: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent three eagles displayed gules; 2 and 3, Argent a bend gules. (It's always tougher to identify a coat of arms when you have several members of the same family as knights of the Order at the same time. Just sayin'.)

André, Seigneur of Humières: Argent fretty sable. (Yeah, I know the field looks gules here, but I suspect that is a result of other factors like impurities in the glass, background colors bleeding through, and/or something similar.)

Jehan de Melun, Seigneur d'Antoing. Azure seven roundels one two one two and one a chief or. The more common arrangement of the roundels is three, three, and one.

Jean bâtard of Luxembourg, Seigneur of Hautbourdin: Argent a lion rampant queue forchy gules debruised by a bendlet sable. (The window has the arms reversed, making the lion “rampant to sinister” and the bendlet a “bendlet sinister”.)

Baudot de Noyelles-Wion, Seigneur of Casteau: Gules three bars gemel overall a label of three tags or. (His stall plate has the bars as argent.) We saw these arms in the previous post, as well.

And finally, to finish off the arms of the knights of the 1445 Chapter:

Jehan, Seigneur of Comines: Gules a chevron or between three escallops argent a bordure or.

Jean II, Duke of Alençon, Count of Perche: Azure three fleurs-de-lis or a bordure gules bezanty. (The bordure should be platy, e.g., semy of roundels argent, and the glassworker made the “roundels” as squares. Well, sure, it’s easier to do it that way in glass!)

Next time, we find arms from the 1559 Chapter of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

And Then ... They Took Us Downstairs!

Continuing our guided tour of St. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, we were led into areas of the cathedral that the public generally doesn't see. For example, the rooms where the cathedrals vestments are kept. Which is what my wife, a fiber and textile artist, was especially interested in.

For myself, I was entranced by, and rapidly circumnavigated the rooms to photograph, the windows, which contained many of the coats of arms of the knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece (which we have been reviewing in recent posts).

Of course, they actually made it very easy to tell that these were arms of the knights of the Order:

And, of course, the arms of the Bishop of St. Bavo's Cathedral were prominently displayed in  the windows there. Here's two pictures taken from different angles of the same window:

We have seen these arms elsewhere in the cathedral. The are blazoned: Azure on a lion rampant argent crowned or three bars gules.

And then, of course, there were the arms of the knights themselves. Here's the first batch from the Chapter held in the Cathedral in 1445. (That they all appear on lozenges does not mean that they are women's arms; it was seemingly just an artistic decision to place them in the windows in this shape.)

The identifications of these arms, which you can go back and compare with their stall plates from recent posts - because they don't always match! - are identified in each window from left to right, top to bottom:

Here we see the arms of:

Simon de Lalaing, Seigneur of Santes: Gules ten lozenges conjoined three three three and one or. His stall plate makes the lozenges correctly argent, with the first lozenge charged with a lion rampant gules.

Ruprecht, Count of Virnebourg: Argent seven lozenges four conjoined in fess and three conjoined in fess gules. His stall plate makes the field or.

Philip III (the Good), Duke of Burgundy, Lothier, Brabant, and Limbourg, Count of Flanders, Artois, and Palatine Burgundy (and more, hidden by the shelf; he was also the Grand Master of the Order of the Golden Fleece at the time of the 1445 Chapter): Burgundy overall an inescutcheon Or a lion rampant sable.

Charles of Burgundy, Count of Charolais: Burgundy overall a label of three tags argent.

Next up, we have:

Jehan, Seigneur of Créqui and Canaples: Or a crequier gules.

Argent four pallets gules. Is it possible that these are meant to be the arms of Alfonso V, King of Aragon and Naples: Or four pallets gules (Aragon)? Argent four pallets gules are the arms of the Marquis of Arpajon (inducted as a member of the Order in 1711) and of the Counts of Schaffgotsch (inducted as members of the Order in 1694, 1731, 1739, and 1785). But these inductions are all far too late for either of the Chapters held at St. Bavo’s Cathedral.

Guilbert de Lannoy, Seigneur of Villerval and Tronchienes: Argent three lions rampant vert a label azure. The arms in the window are missing the bordure engrailed gules.

Florimond de Brimeu, Seigneur of Massincourt, or Jacques de Brimeu, Seigneur of Grigny, or David de Brimeu, Seigneur of Ligny: Argent three eagles displayed gules. (Is the thing in the center an escallop sable for difference? I don't know.)

In this window, we see:

Jean VI, Duke de Bretagne [Duke of Brittany] and Count of Montfort Trepassé: Ermine.

Jean IV, Seigneur of Auxy: Checky or and gules.

Franck de Borsele, Count of Ostrevant: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Sable a fess argent; 2 and 3, Gules three zules (or columns) argent.

Jehan de Croy, Seigneur of Tour sur Marne, or Antoine de Croy, Count of Porcéan, Seigneur of Renty: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent three bars gules; 2 and 3, Argent three axes gules the two in chief addorsed.

Someone stepped in front of me as I was taking this photograph, so the arms in the lower left are obscured. We will see the hidden arms in the next post.  

Baudot de Noyelles-Wion, Seigneur of Casteau: Gules three bars gemel a label or. (We will see these arms again in our next post.)

Next time, the rest of the arms from the 1445 Chapter placed in these windows.