Friday, March 16, 2007

Heraldry of the odd

Well, it really isn't odd, but it is unique and it is period. Scroll through these for some interesting heraldic weirdnesses. Some of the elephants and other beasts are very interesting. It makes you believe that the artist was working off of a description rather than a drawing or having actually seen the beasts. For instance one of the elephants looks like a dog with its nose stuck in a dryer vent hose. Another is gobbled together with all the important parts but it still doesn't look elephantine. There are also some charges and divisions that would never pass our college of arms!

This is the sort of thing that really sparks me to want to keep studying. Seeing interesting things like Big Foot on a coat of arms and all the different crests. It's really fun to look at these things and imagine what was going on in some medieval guy's head. "I want a man on my arms. No, I BIG man. No. REALLY big man. With hair all over his body. Ripping a tree out of the ground! Yeah, that's it!" And I can just imagine the converation between artist and client in trying to draw an elephant. Just how do you describe an elephant to someone who has never seen one before? I also wonder about the artists' thoughts of the presumption of some of the clients. "Just how many crowns does he really need on his arms to prove that he is nobility?" These are all simple, beautiful and fun. Enjoy it. But don't blame me if you end up getting lost for hours scrolling through page after page of arms!

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