Whats your OPINION on this one Lads?

The Language of Heraldry
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Evan Ellis
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Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:24 am
Location: Texas, USA

Whats your OPINION on this one Lads?

Post by Evan Ellis » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:24 am

:shock: Well Gents I have registered my Arms with 1. The American College of Heraldry, 2. U.S. Heraldic Register, and 3. Burke's International Register. Now here is my dilemma. I originally wanted my crest to "resemble" the lion of my German ancestors province of Hess and so we set forth to do so myself wanting the slight change in the number of colored charges, barry. I commisioned the original artwork and registration through Mr. Wooten art work done by Cmdr. Valery.

I had originally requested the Blazon to be "A lion rampant barry Argrnt and Gules." This blazon left wide open the number of "stripes" to be added to the crest by whatever artist so I went with; "A lion rampant Gules charged with three bars argent" Well here is went things went wrong. The American College has an entirely different rendition of the crest with a "Lion rampant barry of eight Argent and Gules" Now I have arms registered in 3 place with different crests blazoned in one of these. I have seen the Lion of Hesse in many forms, many different "stripping" patterns Historically, and many armiger's with different artistic renditions that vary from one crest to the next with no changes to the Arms or Motto.

My question is should I drop the registration and out myself the money or is this a common thing??????


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Martin Goldstraw
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Location: Shropshire, England.

Post by Martin Goldstraw » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:18 am

This is all down to the blazon.

In my opinion a blazon should be specific enough to ensure that one or more artists will not be placed in danger of drawing different achievements.

It is a bit chicken and egg but it really doesn't matter what you start off with; whether you start with an illustration and then translate it into a blazon or start with a blazon and then illustrate it shouldn't really matter. It is the blazon which is the ultimate record and it is this which all future artists will use to illustrate the arms.

If the blazon is per your wishes there should be no difference (save artistic style) between any version of your arms ..... unless the blazon is vague!

If your blazon had stated "A lion rampant barry Argent and Gules" there could, and likely would, be wide variation between different versions of your arms simply because you did not "instruct" the artist, by way of an unambiguous blazon, on the number of bars your arms should have.

In your case, your blazon (at least the one you have recorded with Burke's) gives quite clear instructions to any artist - "A lion rampant Gules charged with three bars Argent" can not be misinterpreted. If an artist has been instructed by way of a blazon "A lion rampant Gules charged with three bars Argent" then that is what you should see when he has finished his work. If, when he has finished, you are looking at "A Lion rampant barry of eight Argent and Gules" then he has either not illustrated your arms and has illustrated someone else's or he has incorrectly emblazoned yours.

If you have clearly instructed the American College of Heraldry that your blazon is "A lion rampant Gules charged with three bars Argent" and you have ended up with an illustration which does not reflect this then you should go back to them and ask them to correct it.

If the American College of Heraldry were given different instructions and have acted correctly then, in effect, you have arrived at a most unsatisfactory situation. It is not at all usual for one person to have two different blazons which produce different (although similar) crests; this would likely lead to confusion as in many countries it is popular for "cousins" to slightly alter their crest in such a way to illustrate different arms with a familial relationship. If this is the case then I fear that the siuation ought to be (if not should be) remedied at your own cost by asking the ACH to alter the blazon and image to bring it in line with your desired achievement.

The blue print is the blazon, the illustration should be constructed per the blue print and the blue print should be clear and unambiguous - "A lion rampant barry Argent and Gules" is far from clear and unambiguous and such blazons should be avoided at all costs!

Hope this helps.
Martin Goldstraw

The Armorial Register


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