Period Heraldric Styles...

Nan Bradford-Reid n.b-reid at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Thu Aug 17 15:12:28 PDT 1995

>     I have a cross-stitch embrodiery book that has human figures
>standing upright with one hand on top of a shield which is standing on
>its point next to them. The figures are both male & female and are
>dressed in Viking, Cotehardies, Houppelands, Italian Ren., and Tudor.
>There are blank shield shapes in which you are supposed to insert
>somebody's device or arms.
>Now, I look at this as artsy presentation of a device, but sure enough,
>when the local herald saw what I was working on, she said something
>about "supporters" and "the heralds won't like it". It's not like
>there's mantling, a helm, a motto or real supporters anywhere on these
>patterns (not that it wouldn't be easy enough for someone to *add* these
>elements). Therefore, from my POV, it isn't heraldry. IMHO, it would be
>a pretty way for someone who will never earn the right to all the fancy
>stuff, to display their arms or device.
>What's the opinion of those heraldically inclined on this?
They are, in fact, supporters, and may not be registered with your arms
until you "earn" them, however, if someone wants to paint a wall hanging or
make a tapestry and have *one* figure holding up your shield or lozenge, I
personally have no problems with it.  There will be those who will have
problems, but I think you could probably blow them off if: 1) you stick to
one figure, 2) which is taller than the shield (the top of the escutcheon,
whatever shape you use, should come no higher than the figure's waist), and
3) you do not render the figure in heraldic colors or manner.  In other
words, it's a picture of someone holding your arms.  This was done a lot in
the Renaissance and the figures used were not a part of the actual arms.

|Nan Bradford-Reid                    |HL Catherine Harwell, CIM, AST       |
|The Department of English            |Barony of Bryn Gwlad                 |
|The University of Texas              |Kingdom of Ansteorra
|Austin, TX, sister city to Adelaide  |~Simplicitas sum Venustas~           |
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