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?

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