Friday, 17 April 2009

Heraldry .. "a shorthand of history" - part 1/4


Dear Mr Postman .. thank you once again for delivering our letter; I know this will stimulate my mother's mind .. these kind of brief notes offer us lots of ideas to ruminate over .. laugh at and enjoy each other's company while we read the letter -

Wikipedia describes heraldry thus: 'A shorthand of history' .. now that is an interesting phrase to ponder on .. or how about 'the floral border in the garden of history' - what an amazing statement or description for us to think about .. - do Persian carpets tell the same kind of tale?
Heraldry of sorts was an established tradition in Egyptian times; the heraldic idea came over to England at the time of the Norman Conquest (1066), however the inheritable emblem and heraldic structure became established over the next 100 years, and is now embedded into the pageant and customs of State.

The origins of heraldry lie in the need to distinguish participants in combat when their faces were hidden by helmets; eventually a formal system of rules developed into ever more complex forms of heraldry. This bestowal of inheritable honour fell to the sovereign (or the state), who also appoints Officers of Arms to regulate and control matters armorial, attend state ceremonies, conserve and interpret heraldic and genealogical records.

A coat of arms (armorial achievement) consists of the shield, the helmet, the crest, mantling (the drapery backing the crest on the shield) and supporters (the animal, bird etc holding up the shield); the motto, which may be in any language, may appear with the coat of arms, but is not necessarily part of the coat of arms.

The colours and tinctures (metals and furs), charges (the emblem or device occupying the 'field' of the shield) - have all stemmed from historical elements and been absorbed into each country's heraldic dynasty.

So we will look at this garden of history .. the tinctures, the symbols, the metals, the furs, the national styles, modern heraldry .. and see if we can make head or tail of this shorthand! Interesting times ahead .. enjoy ..

Thank you Mr Postman for this simple explanation of the origins of heraldry .. we look forward to tomorrow for some more rich and royal descriptions ... & in the future Persian carpets - now's there's a thought!

Images: The coat of arms of Garter Principal King of Arms - appears above: per Wikipedia
as does .... The coat of arms of University of California San Diego
Hilary Melton-Butcher
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14 comments:

Peter Baca said...

Hello Hilary,

Enticing post on the history of heraldry! I never knew that heraldry originated with the Egyptians...until you connect the symbolism in the tombs.

Heraldry was very evident in the middle ages in Europe! It is now obvious that it continues today in so many forms!

Thank you for the wonderful post!

Best Regards

Pete Baca
The Car Enthusiast Online

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pete ..thanks for visiting .. it is amazing how much we can learn .. - heraldry is really identification and acknowledgement of noble peoples .. peoples in the Ruler's eye.

Heraldry was, as you say, extremely evident in the middle ages - I'm pleased that pomp & circumstance is retained and we can keep these traditions up.

We learn so much about our history and our raison d'etre - I think it's important to continue that knowledge ..

All the best
Hilary Melton-Butcher
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Giovanna Garcia said...

Hi Hilary

I love the new look to your site, it looks fantastic!

I enjoy learning heraldry, thank you for that. Up until yesterday I didn't know what Heraldry was.

Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Gio .. I think it's a little brash - but I'll see how we go.

I'm learning about heraldry too .. and I know it would have interested Mum .. we would have had some discussions .. & definitely about the San Diego Uni's coat of arms!!

Thank you for your comments and for visiting ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
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Marketing Unscrambled, learn to earn 14 said...

Thank you Hilary, great job on your post. Your site look really good. It is nice to change things up sometimes.
Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Dan & Deanna - thanks for visiting and for commenting on the 'new' site ..

The floral garden of history should interest you I hope!

Go well - Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

positively present said...

This is a really interesting topic. I love learning new things and, like a lot of the other readers, I had NO idea what this was before I stopped by your site. Thanks for teaching me something!

Daphne @ Joyful Days said...

Hello Hilary,

I just wanted to say you have an amazing blog, and I wanted to write more but couldn't find a way to contact you so I've published my email to you in my latest blog post:

http://www.joyfuldays.com/positive-letters/

I'm subscribed to your blog and feel privileged to witness your journey with your mum.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Positively Present - thank you so much .. I just like things that will or would have interested my mother .. so we can laugh and share together ..

It's great to see you here again ..

All the best - Hilary Melton-Butcher
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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Daphne .. many thanks for connecting & for being so kind .. very grateful ..

I'll email you .. and it's really kind of you to have subscribed - I feel honoured ..

Thanks so much!
Hilary Melton-Butcher
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Shaw said...

Hi Hilary, First of all, congratulation of your blog new appearance. I like this new appearance. It is interesting post learning European history on hilardary. Maybe we plan on joint exchange blog posts on European and Asian histories. Please let me know your opinion. Thank you for your post.

Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Peter Baca said...

Hilary,

I was looking for your new post on heraldry! Your first post was very enlightening!

You have my curiosity up as to what your next will contain! Hope your mother is doing well!

Best Regards

Pete Baca
The Car Enthusiast Online

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw - thanks for liking the new look of the blog. I'm pleased you liked the information on the heraldic development.

I think that would be interesting to do cross referencing of Japanese European history later on ..

Thanks for sharing with me ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pete .. sorry heraldry got the better of me! I'll revise it now ..

it's just so fantastic - you're visiting because you want to see what happens next ..

Mum for the first time in 2 years .. seems to want me to be around - she used to be happy if I visited & went: perhaps the hospital is getting her down & I can't visit til 2.00 pm .. not that she really knows the time of day .. but it's obviously later than she's used to.

I hope she'll be out on Wednesday .. the procedure is scheduled for Tuesday .. so she'll be back at the Home & I can visit in the mornings as well as the pms.

So we're well I just got swamped in heraldic meaning!!

Thanks for making sure we're alright ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters