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."


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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