Monday, August 2, 2021

Some 17th Century Heraldry of the Order of the Dannebrog

Continuing our look at some of the older armorial plaques of members of the Order of the Dannebrog in Frederiksborg Castle, here are some of the members who were inducted into the Order in the late 17th Century

Johann Frederick von Levetzow (inducted in 1683), Argent a [I do not know what this artifact is] gules; Otto Rantzau, third lensgreve (count) of Rosenvold (1632-1719, inducted in 1674), Quarterly: 1 and 4, Gules two lion’s jambes in saltire or; 2 and 3, Or three torteaux one and two; overall an inescutcheon crowned with the coronet of a count, Per pale gules and argent.

Johann von Lewenhielm (1682), Per pale: Azure issuant from the sea on a rock proper a tower, a chief and a base argent; Gules a lion rampant crowned or.

Matthias Moth (died 1699, inducted in 1693), a Danish stateman whose biggest claim to fame that I can find seems to have been that he was the brother of Sophie Amalie Moth, mistress of King Christian V, Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent three hearts gules; 2 and 3, Or three bars gules; overall an inescutcheon Azure in pale a crescent moon pendent argent and mullet of five points inverted [or, reversed] or.

Conrad Bierman von Ehrenschild (1629-1698, inducted in 1684), Quarterly: 1 and 4, Azure three wheat stalks or; 2 and 3, Or a duck sable beaked and legged gules swimming on a base of water proper; overall an inescutcheon Gules a rose argent.

Next time, no more of this "old" stuff! We'll look at the plaques of some late 20th Century members of the Order of the Dannebrog.


  1. Thank you! I utterly enjoyed this series of Frederiksborg castle. As a dane with a keen heraldic interest, who has lived abroad for quite some years, I love the simplicity of older danish heraldry and am not quite sure about some of the newer charges (see fighter jet). The unregulated use of heraldry in Scandinavia has created some beautiful designs whilst modern grants seem to fall into the same traps modern british civic heraldry does. Anyways nice photos ! :) - I might drop a few comments on things I have thought about as well and have followed up on. - All the best! Phillip

    Regarind the von Levetzow charge:
    "The coat of arms represents a swinging gate. The family’s heraldic saga is more recent than the coat of arms itself, which appears in Mecklenburg on a signet ring as early as the 13th century. According to this tale a squire rescued his lord from an ambush. As they entered a city for peace talks he grasped the situation: The gate of the city would be shut behind them. He warned the group, kept the gate open, and all were saved. In memory of this event the lord bore the symbol of the gate upon his coat of arms." Found on a german website.

  2. I am glad that you have enjoyed this series of posts on Frederiksborg Castle. I could have spent a lot more time there, but we only had so much time.

    Yes, the fighter jet was a surprise to me. But I have to remind myself that new charges have always been added to the corpus of heraldry, and so I try not to take offense from it.

    Thank you for the explanation of the charge on the von Levetzow arms. I truly couldn't figure out what it was, but now that you have shared the explanation, I can see it there. It is similar in some ways to the British "turnpike", but without the crank handle on the top by which the turnpike is turned. Proof once again that there is always something new to be learned in heraldry!