Thursday, March 30, 2023

An Achievement of Arms, But Where Are the Arms?

On my travels I often run across, and blog about, the blank shields and blank cartouches that I run across.

Usually, I confine my remarks to talking about what a wasted opportunity a blank shield may be, and occasionally bring up the personal temptation to get a ladder and a few cans of spray paint to correct the lack of an actual coat of arms there.

This one, alas, was in some ways an even bigger temptation, but would have required an even longer ladder to "correct" the issue, as it was over the entrance and exit to an underground garage right next to our hotel. (That location meant that I had the dubious pleasure of seeing it sometimes several times a day.)

As I said, a much longer ladder. Not to mention the risk (absent in this photograph) of cars and trucks going into and coming out of the garage.

But as you can see in this close-up below, it is not just an empty cartouche, but what might be considered (and would be, if it included a helmet and crest) an achievement of arms, complete with supporters standing upon an ornate compartment.

As you can see (and can see in even more detail if you click on the image above), it's a very ornate display of ... (wait for it!) ... a blank oval shield.

A blank oval shield in an ornate frame, resting on a plinth, held up by two supporters, all resting on a compartment decorated with garlands of laurel.

If only someone had thought to add a coat of arms to this extravagant display of non-heraldry!

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