Planet History

Heraldica Nova

A few more armorials online (Mandragore database)

The Mandragore database of the Bibliothèque national in Paris (http://mandragore.bnf.fr/jsp/rechercheExperte.jsp) allows one to search images of the BnF’s illuminated manuscripts. Unsurprisingly perhaps, this also brings to light a rather larger number of heraldic images (some 10,000 images are tagged ‘armoiries’) and at least a few armorials: 18 manuscripts in the database have been described as armorials (i.e. have the word ‘armorial’ in the modern title). Here’s a list: 1…

The Mamluk Rank: Quasi-Heraldic Emblems in the Islamic World

In Islamic culture, ‘mamluks’ were elite slave soldiers that served the Muslim caliphs, sultans and emirs. Recruited at a young age from the Turkish tribes of the steppes of central Asia, they first appeared in the ninth century under the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutasim near Baghdad. By the thirteenth century, buying and training mamluks had become a common practice in the Middle East. In Egypt, the first sultan to make…

What we have done so far: List of publications and lectures from the “Coats of arms in practice” project

The project “Coats of arms in practice” aims to reassess medieval heraldry from the perspective of cultural history. In order to keep track of the results of the project, we publish here a list of the publications and lectures that emerged from this project so far. Of course, there is still more to come!       Edited Volumes Hiltmann, Torsten; Hablot, Laurent (eds.): Heraldic Artists and Painters in the…

Wappenbuch BSB Cgm 8030 online

Unter den Neuzugängen der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (BSB) findet man das Wappenbuch Cgm 8030. Es ist eines der größten mittelalterlichen Wappenbücher (359 Blätter, ca. 2811 erhaltene Wappen, mindestens 38 nicht mehr erhalten, über 100 leere Schilde) und war bisher weder den Forschern bekannt noch in der Fachliteratur zitiert. Es besteht aus vielen Segmenten, aber außer der Lage, die 4 Blätter zählt, wurde es nach den vorab bestimmten Kriterien in einer…

Nassau-Vianden armorial accessible online!

Earlier this year the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague acquired the Nassau-Vianden armorial. This fascinating manuscript is now digitized and accessible online at the website of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. On this website the presentation of the armorial is accompanied by an introduction and some details on the content, of which a brief summary follows below. The armorial displays the ancestors of count Engelbrecht II of Nassau (1451-1504), of both the…

[CfA:] Visible Identities: Symbolic Codes from Personal Heraldry to Corporate Logos, London, 6 November 2017 (Programme)

This day conference at the Society of Antiquaries will consider the ways in which identity since c. 1100 has been, and continues to be, expressed in outward visible formats, principally heraldry. The opening address will be delivered by Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada, on development of the country’s visual symbolic identity. The following contributions will consider the development of sign systems of identity and their uses from the…

Bellenville’s two armorials

The »Bellenville« armorial is one of the most famous and admired of the Middle Ages. Its production context however remains shrouded in mystery. This brief blogpost discusses the relations between its two main sections and demonstrates how focus on the material aspects of the manuscript can clarify a somewhat confusing statement in the most recent heraldic edition of the armorial. The manuscript The manuscript with the »Bellenville« armorial consists…

Out now! Editing armorials. Cooperation, knowledge and approach by late medieval practitioners

The title of these books can be interpreted both actively and passively. The active form is when one or more manuscripts are being transcribed, the arms identified and commented on, and the whole analyzed and published. Less effort may suffice and leave the armorial as just a listing of transcribed items with or without identification. More or less critical editions have been published over the years and more are…

Heraldry in the royal palace of Sintra: ‘In the Service of the Crown’ project on TV in Portugal

The show Visita Guiada (‘Guided Visit’) by Portuguese journalist Paula Moura Pinheiro is currently the most popular program of Portugal’s public broadcasting channel RTP 2. Every week, a Portuguese monument of cultural importance is presented by a specialist, generally a historian. Last week, the chosen monument was the royal palace in Sintra and its sala dos brasões (‘hall of coats of arms’). It was presented by Miguel Metelo de…

[CfA:] You can contribute to Heraldica Nova, too!

We are very happy to say that Heraldica Nova is becoming more and more popular amongst the international community of heraldists, historians, and enthusiasts engaging with heraldry in the medieval and early-modern era. In March, we were able to welcome over 9,000 unique visitors! Of course, this interest would not be possible without the fascinating contributions and invaluable comments of people  from around the world that have made Heraldic…

Recent publications – Update May 2017

Books Barbattini, R., M. Ghirardi and G. Giovinazzo, Api delle città. La figura dell’ape nell’araldica civica italiana (San Godenzo, 2016) Büchner, Robert, Das Münchner Boten- und Wappenbuch vom Arlberg (Frankfurt, 2016) Fragale, Luca Irwin, Microstoria e Araldica di Calabria Citeriore e di Cosenza. Da fonti documentarie inedite (Milano, 2016) Articles and chapters Barovier Mentasti, R., L. Borelli, C. Tonini, ‘Dating the Venetian Rovere Flask at The Corning Museum of…

Programme: 1st International Congress on Heraldry – 1er Congrès International sur l’Héraldique – May 13/14, 2017

The programme of the 1st International Congress on Heraldry is now available. The conference will take place in the Sala degli Avi of Palazzo Altieri, Oriolo Romano (Viterbo), on Saturday 13 May. On Sunday 14 May 2017 there will be the Simposio annuale sull’attualità dell’araldica. See the full programme on the poster below.  

Dear heraldists, we need your input: How did you learn to blazon?

Dear heraldists, dear fellow researchers, As a part of my studies, I am looking at concepts of ‚proper‘ blazon in general, and differences and parallels between the English, French, and German systems and traditions of blazoning in particular. For example, I plan to do some work on the ways in which heraldic ordinaries and charges are categorised and the rationale behind these categorisations. In this context, I am curious…

A dream’s armorial. The heraldic paintings of the Galleria dei Papi in Oriolo Romano (Viterbo, Italy)

In central Italy, between Rome and Viterbo, a land of forests frequented and feared for millennia[1] includes a town of dreams. This is Oriolo Romano, built in 1562 by the roman nobleman Giorgio Santacroce who gave stable accommodation to the seasonal huts of lumberjacks by a new town in line with Renaissance ideals. Three parallel streets converge on the square of the princely building in a trident structure similar to…

Weder Schild noch Wappen? Zur Suggestivkraft präheraldischer Handschriftenilluminationen

  Während der Quellenrecherche zu einer Seminararbeit zu den Anfängen des Wappenwesens stieß ich auf eine faszinierende heraldische Bildquelle, die mich aufgrund meines Erkenntnisinteresses zunächst zu einer gravierenden Fehlinterpretation verleitete, aber letztlich doch vieles über den Umgang mit Bildern als Quelle gelehrt hat. Ich betrachtete zunächst Handschriftenilluminationen, deren Digitalisate in großen französischen und englischsprachigen Bilddatenbanken mittlerweile frei zugänglich sind, darunter zum Beispiel Mandragore, Enluminures, Initiale, Gallica der Digital Catalogue of…

A world (map) of coat of arms: Richental’s mappamundi

The Aulendorf copy of Richental’s chronicle, today preserved in New York, is rightly famous as an important textual witness not only of the chronicle but also the armorial transmitted with the latter (see https://heraldica.hypotheses.org/2854 on the manuscript and the coats of arms it contains). Today, I would like to draw attention to a slightly hidden feature of the Aulendorf manuscript, namely the mappamundi it contains – a so-called ‘T-O…

[paper] Marie Koehn (Strasbourg, F / Münster, D): Décor de table et mise en scène du pouvoir princière. Le mariage de Charles le Téméraire (1468)

Charles le Téméraire est connu pour son déploiement de faste représentatif ; la cour de Bourgogne marque l’apogée de la culture de cour au moyen âge. Pour manifester le pouvoir et l’autonomie de la jeune dynastie entre la France et le Saint Empire et pour unifier un territoire très hétérogène, le Duc de Bourgogne mit en place une autoreprésentation élaborée et splendide tout au long de son règne. Les…

[paper] Miguel Metelo de Seixas (Lisbon): La ‘sala dos brasões’ de Sintra: approches et enjeux historiographiques

La « sala dos brasões » du palais royal de Sintra constitue, pour le Portugal, un cas isolé de salle d’apparat au décor héraldique. Ce caractère unique lui a valu une approche historiographique elle-même exceptionnelle : depuis le XVIe jusqu’au XXe siècle, chroniqueurs, historiens, mémorialistes et voyageurs la présentèrent comme lieu de mémoire par excellence de la monarchie et de la noblesse portugaises. Plus récemment, des approches basées sur le…

[paper] Ana Isabel Buescu (Lisbon): Intérieurs. Salles d’apparat et cérémonies royales au Portugal au XVIe siècle – quelques notes

Le thème de ce workshop met en évidence l’importance de la connaissance des spatialités dans l’organique fonctionnelle et d’apparat des anciennes résidences royales et aristocratiques en Europe, du 14e au 16e siècle, particulièrement dans les salles d’État. Dans le cas portugais, au Moyen Âge et encore au 16e siècle, on doit souligner le caractère fragmentaire des témoignages qui sont à notre disposition. Les raisons pour une telle réalité sont…

[paper] Milton Parcheo (Coimbra): A king between gods and heroes: The iconographic program of the Palace of Ribeira throne room during the reform of D. Filipe I of Portugal

When in 1581 king Phillip II of Spain was acclaimed sovereign of the Portuguese Empire as D. Filipe I of Portugal, he spent the first three years in the kingdom in order to reorganize it according to his personal administrative requirements and political needs. Determined to restructured the new realm in his own image, as the powerful ruler of the vast Spanish Habsburg Empire, which would thoroughly increase extremely…

[paper] Helder Carita (Lisbon): Les salles d’apparat au Palais des Vice-Rois à Goa

Démoli en 1820, à la suite de l’abandon progressif de la ville de Goa, le palais des Vice-Rois a toujours attiré l’attention des voyageurs, visitant Goa au long des XVIe et XVIIe siècles. En plus des formes imposantes de son architecture marquant l’image de la ville, les intérieurs du palais étaient réputés pour ses deux grandes salles. Une première, située à la suite du grand porche d’entrée, servait de…

Francesca Tasso, Tosi Luca (Milan, I): Sala dei Moroni in the so called Cortile Ducale (Ducal Courtyard) in Castello Sforzesco

1498 Ludovico il Moro, Lord of Milano, Italy, committed to Leonardo da Vinci the painted decoration of one of the rooms of his court palace, the so called Sala delle Asse. Recent researches, connected to the current restoration, let understand that Leonardo celebrated Ludovico with a wide pavilion of 16 trees of mulberries, whose branches were connected in the ceiling. The mulberry was chosen as an original and modern…

[paper] Matteo Ferrari (Poitiers, F): Le prince et son image. L’ornementation picturale des résidences seigneuriales de Galéas II et Barnabé Visconti

Depuis la seigneurie de Galéas I Visconti († 1328) les résidences des seigneurs de Milan ont été dotées d’apparats ornementaux, surtout peints, visant à augmenter le prestige des espaces et à mettre en scène l’image du prince. En raison des aléas de la conservation, l’agencement des palais milanais des premiers Visconti et de leurs décors n’est désormais connu que grâce aux sources textuelles et à quelques rares vestiges monumentaux….

[paper] Laura Cirri (Florence, I): The use of the imprese in the Medicean iconography of power: evolution and consolidation through the 15th and 16th centuries

  The aim of this talk is to highlight how the choice and the use of the imprese among the Medici family became a sort of continuing thread from the first generations of the family and their successors. The main focus of the talk will be the decorative apparatus of the Medicean Villa of Poggio a Caiano and the key role of the devices. The talk will first introduce…

[paper] Pierre Couhault (Paris, F): Un décor d’or, de soie et de laine. À propos du choix des tapisseries dans l’ornementation de la grande salle du palais de Bruxelles (XVe‐XVIe siècles)

Quand on envisage le décor intérieur des monuments du passé, c’est souvent de façon relativement statique. La plupart du temps, on s’intéresse à un état donné, considéré comme pertinent ou définitif. Dans de meilleurs cas, on cherche à retracer les évolutions au gré des campagnes successives de travaux. Le colloque tenu à Münster l’an dernier avait ainsi donné la priorité à des oeuvres « en dur », destinées à…

Matthew Paris and others in Digitised Armorials list

The manuscript London, British Library, Royal MS 14 C VII is now added to the Digitised Armorials list. The manuscript contains the entire Historia Anglorum (covering 1066-1253) and the last part of the Chronica Majora (covering 1254-1259). It is identified as an autograph of Matthew Paris (d. 1259), monk in the abbey of St. Albans. The manuscript contains coats of arms in the margins, 95 in total[1]. These make…

[paper] Laurent Hablot (Paris, F): Des cerfs et des armoiries. Emblématique et symbolique du cerf écuyer dans la représentation du pouvoir à la fin du Moyen Age

Le plafond peint de la grande salle du trône de Sintra expose les armes de la quasi totalité des familles de la haute noblesse, appendues au cou de cerfs galopant, entourant les armes du lignage royal d’une étonnante cavalcade entre ciel et terre. Le choix de ce motif à Sintra – le cerf portant un écu à son cou – ne doit sans doute rien au hasard. Depuis plus…

[paper] Silvia Marin Barutcieff, Ștefan Barutcieff (Bucharest, RO): From Sacred Art to the Art of Politics. Mural Paintings and the 15th Century Iconographic Discourse of St. George’s Castle in Mantua

In 1433, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga became the first marquess of Mantua, a title granted by Emperor Sigismund in recognition of his services to the Holy Roman Empire. Succeeding his father, Ludovico III Gonzaga ruled the Lombard city from 1444 to 1478, as the second marquess of Mantua. Having completed his education in the company of outstanding figures (such as the humanist Vittorino Rambaldini da Feltre, his tutor), Ludovico invited at…

[paper] Elizabeth Biggs, James Hillson (Cambridge, UK): A Palace Chapel as State-Room at Westminster, 1348-1450

In 1348 St Stephen’s Chapel was completed.  Sited in the centre of the Palace of Westminster, the blank walls of the new building presented Edward III with an opportunity to create a new iconography of kingship. Between 1348 and 1363 the king and his craftsmen transformed the chapel’s surface into one of the most elaborate royal decorative programmes of the fourteenth century, including painted masonry, Old Testament narratives, sculptures,…

[paper] Isabel Monteiro (Lisbon): Music in Portuguese Renaissance Courts: Performers, Contexts and Places

The expression ‘heraldic music’ has been used to describe musical bands of a significant number of trumpets, kettle drums and shawms suitable to accompany solemn courtly and other ceremonial events, although we do not know much about the music they actually played. It is certainly not necessary to remind the fact that no great lord did not make use of music to present his class and power, standing in…

[paper] Christian de Mérindol (Paris, F): A propos du Palais de Sintra, les priorités directionnelles et autres références

Dans une récente étude sur les références et pratiques à la cour royale du Portugal, nous avons relevé, notamment dans le Palais de Sintra, l’emplacement significatif de la salle des armoiries, l’orientation de l’écu royal en cette salle,ainsi que l’emploi de certaines couleurs et la présence soutenue de certaines formes et de certains nombres. Nos travaux, en particulier sur la maison de France, nous avaient préparé à ces observations….

[paper:] Nuno Senos (Lisbon): The Great Hall of the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa

From the 1530s to the 1560s, duke Teodosio de Bragança conducted a series of major construction campaigns in his family’s palace in Vila Viçosa providing the building with a new wing faced with a splendid marble façade (the first secular renaissance façade in the country) and a series of new rooms. Among these, a monumental staircase leads to an also new great hall of grand proportions, decorated with expensive…

Heraldry in Early Modern Spain according to the picaresque novel (1554-1668)

I have recently published an article in which I analyze the heraldic information contained in a total of twenty-seven Spanish picaresque novels from the years 1554 to 1668. Faced with the fantastic novel of chivalry, the realistic setting of the picaresque allows a better approach to the daily heraldic practices in Spain during the Early Modern Age, as well as to the perception of the coat of arms. A…

[Paper] Torsten Hiltmann: Heraldry and Materiality – Oxford, 1 March 2017

In recent years the concept of materiality has become more and more important in historical research. In going beyond the study of texts and images, scholarship now also addresses the materiality of their media, as well as the role physical objects may have played in different historical settings. This talk will explore the relationship between coats of arms and the concept of materiality. First, the talk will focus on…

[paper] Pedro Flor (Lisbon): Decorating spaces: Artistic strategies of King Manuel I and the great hall of Sintra royal palace

Sintra became popular with the royal family as Queen Philippa of Lancaster received from King João I the rents and the properties of the town. Besides, the King set about rebuilding the royal lodgings around 1415. Sintra was rewarded by a series of royal visits from medieval times to Renaissance. Kings and its court stayed there on a number of occasions and seem to have particularly favoured the royal…

[paper] Alessandro Savorelli (Florence, I): La Grande Salle de “Palazzo Vecchio” à Florence: la représentation du pouvoir entre république et seigneurie

Le Palazzo Vecchio (bati en 1299-1314) est aussi connu sous le nom de Palazzo della Signoria, mais en ce cas il n’est pas à confondre le mot “seigneurie/signoria” (qui à Florence désignait le gouvernement “républicain” de la Commune), avec l’expression communément utilisée pour definir les dominations qui s’affirment dans les des villes italiennes entre la fin du XIIIe siècle et le XVe s., après la crise des institutions communales….