Monday, July 18, 2022

Caveat Emptor!

Or, in English, "Let the buyer beware!"

I have Google check stuff for me sometimes. In this particular case, they send me an email once a day about pages on the internet that contain the words "heraldry" and "coat of arms".

These search results aren't always ideal; sometimes I'll see a site that on the surface seems like it might be interesting, only to find when I click on the link that my anti-virus is blocking it because it's a potential malware infector.

Nonetheless, not every website out there is trying to infect my computer, and I'll visit websites that may be of interest because it deals with heraldry in one way or another.

And it was in this way that I ran across a website (well, one page on a website) the other day which entitled itself "Drawing a Beautiful Coat of Arms (42 photos)", subtitled "Beautiful drawings for sketching".

I am hesitant, for the reasons explained below, to give you the URL of this website, though I feel pretty confident that I have already given you enough information to track it down yourself.

The site is Russian, and clearly their English translations sometimes leave a bit to be desired. "The purpose of the site ... is to provide various entertainment information (content) to individuals (users) on the subject of 'Unknown'."

But my real issue with the site was that some of the information identifying some of these "beautiful coat[s]-of-arms" was simply erroneous. (Hence, I have to suppose, the "Unknown" in their statement of purpose.)

For example, this achievement of arms, at the very top of the page(!), labeled "Beautiful family coats of arms":

Well, yeah, I suppose, if your family was the Bourbon kings of Spain, running from King Philip V (1700-1746) through King Felipe VI (2014-present).

So, yeah, in one sense it's a "Beautiful family coat of arms", but it's a coat of arms pretty much limited to one very well-known and historic family.

Another shield, this time in color, was labeled: "Heraldic knight thyroid holder":

I don't think I'd want anything on that shield holding my thyroid.

Anyway, I'm perfectly willing to allow that the description is the result of a bad translation program.

However, what I have more trouble overlooking is that these are the arms of the American College of Heraldry, and those arms are undoubtedly trademarked and very probably also copyrighted.

So stick that in your "thyroid holder".

For my next exhibit, we have the illustration of "Family emblems of England":

Many of you will notice right away that these are not, in fact, "family emblems of England", at least not unless your family surname is "Windsor" and you are acting in your right as Queen of Canada!

It's also not a very good drawing overall; It is impossible to make out the three lions of England in the first quarter or the lion of Scotland, within what I can only assume is supposed to be the double tressure flory counter-flory.

And the website certainly should know that those are the arms of Canada (and not "family emblems of England"), because further down the page they have this:

"Canada's Coat of Arms"!

They also note that this image is "printed with permission granted by the office of the Prime Minister" along with the URL to the Canadian Prime Minister's home page. I am unable to confirm that statement, though I will note that no acknowledgement is given to the artist who drew this depiction of the Canadian arms.

Anyway, there you are. Forty-two drawings of coats of arms, two of them of the same achievement (one less well done than the other), and all of which are downloadable.

If you choose to track down that website, and to download some of the images there, all I can truly say is, Caveat emptor, "Let the buyer beware"!

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