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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…

[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…

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…

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…