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International Register of Armorial Bearings (Coats of Arms)

 
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Last Update: 14/02/2017

Design of Arms

The Armorial Register will, for a fee, undertake to work with a client to professionally design their own coat of arms either to be assumed (in countries where armorial bearings may be assumed) or to form the basis of a petition for a grant or registration of arms from an official Heraldic Authority.

If you wish to commission us to assist with designing new armorial bearings, we will ask you to complete a short questionnaire so that we can get some idea of what you might like before we begin the design process with you. Our basic fee includes liaison by email and the production of up to five digital images to assist with understanding what the finished design will eventually look like. We will explain along the way any heraldic “rules” or “conventions” which may affect the desired outcome along with any appropriate heraldic terminology; the final approved design will be provided with a complete blazon (a description in heraldic terms). In the unlikely event that the process extends beyond the production of five digital images, we reserve the right to negotiate a further fee.

Please Contact us for further information and an individual quote on your requirements as this may vary depending on the service we are asked to provide.

For those who are permitted to assume armorial bearings, upon completion of the design process, and as part of the initial fee, the arms will be recorded in our International Register of Arms and we will issue a Personalised Registration Certificate printed on a high-quality Cotton Sheet which will provide longevity. This personalised Certificate with the registrant's Arms, Blazon, Date and Registration Number is embossed with the company's wafer seal and signed by the directors of The Armorial Register. The size of the certificate is A4: 297 x 210 mm, 11.7’’ x 8.25’’.

For those who are unable to assume arms and require design guidance as part of an eventual petition to an official heraldic authority for a grant or registration of arms, registration in our International Register and the issue of a Certificate will take place once the arms have been granted/recorded by the relevant authority.

The Armorial Register is also able to provide design assistance and advice to those who wish to petition for armorial bearings from official heraldic authorities.

Composition of a Coat of Arms

By way of initial design guidance, we feel that we could do no better than quote from "The Art of Heraldry" Carl-Alexander von Volborth, (Blandford Press, Dorset, 1987, p. 218):

DESIGN OF NEW ARMORIAL BEARINGS

 

• Make sure that the design is unique and does not infringe upon the rights of others. A coat of arms is personal property, and to have the same or a similar name as an armiger does not mean that one is necessarily related to him and entitled to his arms or a version thereof. If your father's brother, for instance, assumed a coat of arms, this does not mean that you are entitled to use it, unless he made the necessary provisions. If one cannot prove genealogically to descend from an armiger in the male line, he cannot use his arms.

• Try to keep the design as simple as possible. Arms are still meant to be means of identification and representation and should be easily recognized and remembered. Crowded designs do not answer to this condition.

• Respect the ethnic background of your family and try to keep the new arms in the style of the country of your origin. If you are, for example, an American citizen, having a German or a French name, don't use the heraldic style and charges which are characteristic for British or Italian heraldry.

• Do not use badges of Orders of Chivalry as charges for your arms. This can be misleading. Should you be a member of such an Order, you can show this outside the actual coat of arms.

• Do not use coronets, crowns or any other object that may have a particular meaning in the heraldry of the historical noblesse. Do not use supporters, they have a particular significance in heraldry and should not be assumed. Avoid everything that could be interpreted as misleading.

• In your choice of charges you might search for symbols which express perhaps an occupation or profession that was or is characteristic for members of your family, for a pun on your name (canting arms) or for something relating to the place of origin of your family. There are innumerable possibilities to create a meaningful coat of arms. As for the tinctures you could use your favourite colour combination (preferably limited to one colour and one metal) or the colours of your home town or country. Charges like the rod of Aesculapius for physicians or the Caduceus for merchants for example have been used only too often and are not very original. Try to avoid heraldic platitudes in a new design. A sailor does not have to use a whole ship. Oars, a sail, a boat or a rudder would do the trick, and artisans could use the tools of their trade, preferably in their medieval form. Show the elements on the shield from the most recognizable angle; a hand seen from the side is meaningless, but palm outwards with space between the fingers is instantly identified.

 
 

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