Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bavarian Wappenbuch

"Ben Jumbo Dollard, rubicund, musclebound, hairynostrilled,
hugebearded, cabbageeared, shaggychested, shockmaned,
fat-papped, stands forth, his loins and genitals tightened
into a pair of black bathing bagslops."


Wappenbuch


armorial bearings


shield blazons


coats of arms


coloured armorial shields


emblazoned shields


shields from wappenbuch


blazons from wappenbuch


wappenbuch coats of arms


Armorial bearings from wappenbuch


coloured escutcheons


escutcheons from wappenbuch


heraldic escutcheons


wappenbuch escutcheons


hand painted escutcheons


coats of arms from wappenbuch


heraldic devices


armorial bearings from wappenbuch


armorial plates


wappenbuch escutcheons
This is what you might call, a lazy post. I've had these escutcheons, these coats of arms, these emblazoned shields, these heraldic miniatures even, for quite a while, and I like them more than the inevitable culling that would be required if I had to pick and choose a couple to throw into a multifarious post.

This Coat of Arms book of the Bavarian Aristocracy ('Wappenbuch des Churbayrischen Adels') is online at the Bavarian State Library (click 'miniaturansicht'). The title page (beautiful calligraphic flourishes) informs us that this particular version from 1700 was copied from the original 1560 manuscript. [Thanks Klaus]

The quote at the top of the page has nothing whatsoever to do with this wappenbuch and only a very tenuous connection to heraldry. It comes from the long and outrageous Rabelaisian 'Circe' episode in James Joyce's 'Ulysses', in which the whole book is played out as a sort of dreamt pantomime. It was within this magical and mystifying chapter that I first became interested in the language of heraldry, which is in some ways taken (in conjunction with pseudo-stage directions) to the very extreme in Joyce's little flight of fancy. But it might just be me.

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