Andrea Marie Habura mentioned to me that a green mount on a field of color
is frequent in Hungarian heraldry. In fact, the arms of the kingdom of
Hungary display this feature, as do the modern arms of Slovakia. But this
may be similar to the fairly common occurence of the "chef cousu" in French
heraldry, which is not really seen as a direct violation of the rule (it
is quite common for French cities, which were given a chief of France as
augmentation). The blazon of Hungary in heraldry manuals does not bring
up any remarks about violation of the tincture rule, does it?
Nevertheless, the figure I quoted from Pastoureau came from a database
of about 10,000 arms from t13th-15th c. armorials, which covered only
Western Europe. I'm willing to believe the frequency of violation was
higher in the East.
>However, I can't think of any arms that are
>entirely metal on metal, other than Jerusalem of course. Perhaps we could take
>a survey? Anyone who's seen metal on metal arms give a holler and we'll see
>what we get.
Here are some of Woodward's examples, and a few more culled from Rietstap:
Belot (France): argent, three lozenges azure, a chief embattled or.
Dornspach (Austria, Saxony): quarterly, gules two psllets argent; or,
chape-ploye argent, two lions' heads of the first.
van Dorp (Leyden): azure, on a bend or three crosslets argent.
Doro (Venice): argent, a lion or.
von Fridung: argent, a pallet between two wings affrontes paleways or.
von Goerlitz (Wurttemberg, Hesse): per pale argent and or, two hatchets
addorsed in pale counterchanged.
Grefen (Saxony): argent, a saltire couped or.
Henema (Frisia): or, a boar rampant argent.
Merkman (Netherlands): argent, three fleur-de-lys or.
Montmorency: or, a cross argent (before they adopted their modern arms).
Sandberg (Netherlands): or, a chevron argent between three trefoils vert.
>Also I think gold on ermine should
>count, because it's just as unreadable from a distance.
No, the rules of heraldry are pretty explicit that fur can go anywhere,
although it usually goes on color.
The Duke of Marlborough pays an annual `rent' to the English Crown for
the royal manor of Woodstock and his home Blenheim Palace which were
presented to him after his victories over the French, principally the
Battle of Blenheim in 1704. This `rent' is a French flag, and each
year a new one arrives and is displayed at Windsor Castle.
This French flag is indeed Argent three fleurs-de-lys Or.
(The Duke of Wellington pays a similar "rent", but he presents a French
tricolor (bleu-blanc-rouge) each year.)
> Andrea Marie Habura mentioned to me that a green mount on a field of
> color is frequent in Hungarian heraldry. In fact, the arms of the
> kingdom of Hungary display this feature, as do the modern arms of
> Slovakia. But this may be similar to the fairly common occurence of the
> "chef cousu" in French heraldry, which is not really seen as a direct
> violation of the rule ...
Isn't this just clever wording to preserve a "rule" that isn't really a
general rule? Color-on-color is a fact; whether we call it a violation of
the tincture rule or an exception created by creative blazonry, it hardly
> The blazon of Hungary in heraldry manuals does not bring up any remarks
> about violation of the tincture rule, does it?
I doubt it; the rule probably doesn't exist in Hungarian heraldry.
Francois, it seems that you are going to heroic lengths to preserve the
integrity of the rule of tinctures, rather than simply admit that it
doesn't apply in many cases.
Josh Mittleman (mit...@watson.ibm.com)
J2-C28 T.J. Watson Research Center, PO Box 704, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
I don't know if there was a "French flag" to speak of before the Revolution.
The Navy did use a semis of fleurs-de-lys on argent. Army regiments each
had their own flag, which usually showed some fleurs-de-lys somewhere.
The tricolor, designed first as a flag for the Navy, was adopted in 1794 as
flag for the troops. Napoleon gave each regiment a tricolor flag
with its name inscribed on one side and the battles it had fought in
on the other. [The regiment's flag is revered like an icon, and
commands higher respect the the comanding officer; the regiment's medals
are displayed on it]. In 1814, the semis on argent flag was brought back
by the Bourbons. In 1830, Louis-Philippe brought back the tricolor: the
hoisting of the tricolor atop the French consulate in Warsaw started the
Polish insurrection of 1831. It has stayed ever since. The last chance
for restoring the monarchy in France was missed because the pretender
insisted on bringing back the white flag (1875).
>(The Duke of Wellington pays a similar "rent", but he presents a French
>tricolor (bleu-blanc-rouge) each year.)
I suppose the Churchills have to have it special-ordered. Can't imagine
the old Bourbon flag is in stock anywhere...
Johns Hopkins University
Klaus O K
The Hungarian heraldry doesn't like the floating things. You have to
put things to pedestral, in hand etc. So, how can you get away with
a silver double cross on a field of read without floating ?
Gee, here with a computer and a huge illustrated book of
Hungarian heraldry in front of me...how can I resist.
I've recently been studying the pictures in Ot Evszazad Cimerei:
A magyar orszagos leveltar civeres levelein by Nyulaszine Straub Eva
(Corvina, Magjelent: 1987). It is appearantly a listing of all the grants
of arms made by the Holy Roman Emperor/Austro-Hungarian Emporer from 1404
to 1918. It has over 50 color plates of arms from grants of arms and over
a thousand black and white redrawings of arms with the correct heraldic
hatchments. It is the most impressive armorial I have ever seen in
Hungarian heraldry is unlike any other style of heraldry I have
ever seen. It flagrantly breaks virtually every heraldic convention even
in the period that we think of as being the "classical" period of heraldry
before the decadent period of the Baroque and Enlightenment periods. Tamas's
assertion that Hungarian charges need to be supported by a mount comes from
the 18th and 19th c. practice of putting many charges on a mount. Early
Hungarian heraldry (ca. 1400) differs from German heraldry only in the
fact that it tends to use more demi-beasts, crowns, and mounts or bases that
German heraldry from the same period. Some Hungarian heraldry from this
period is very simple. For example: Per bend sinister embattled
Argent(??) and gules, two roses counterchanged.
Based on a study of the book, here's what I've discovered:
1) Hungarian heraldry ignores the rule of tincture more often
than it obeys it. For example:
Or, a stork (statant?) argent. Tetenyi (Kapy) 1405
Azure, a stork rousant contourny sable beaked and jambed gules
crowned and engorged or and maintaining in its beak a snake Or. Somkereki
Azure, a castle of three towers gules and issuant from dexter and
sinister chief a dexter and sinister arm vested gules issuant from clouds
argent maintaining in honor point a crown Or. A Vadkerti, a Pataki Nagy
es a Szentgyorgyi Vincze 1415
These examples are NOT deliberately selected, they are the first three
plates in the book! I most cases Hungarian heraldry ignores the rule of
color on color. Sable or dark-colored proper fields are very common, as
are gules charges on dark fields. Then of course there is the infamous
green mount which occurs less often than you might expect.
2. Many charges in Hungarian heraldry issue from crowns, lines of
division or bases. There are a remarkable number of "demi" creatures. In
many cases this is because the charges on the shield duplicate the crest
which in many cases is a demi-creature issuant from a crown. In other cases
the creature emerges from the fess line of a per fess field division or a
3. Most fields in Hungarian heraldry are azure or gules with a
sprinkling of Or, argent and sable. Vert or purpure fields are never
encountered. No field treatments other than barry or bendy are used. There
seems to be no use of vair or ermine variant field treatements at all.
4. Ordinaries are almost never used. When they occur they tend to be
fesses or bends. Chevrons, palls, and palls do not appear. Field
divisions tend to be per fess (quite common) or per bend (rarely). Bases
are very common.
4. Charges tend to be a single central charge. When multiple charges
occur they are generally arranged around a large central charge. The
arrangements "an X between two Ys" or "an A between in chief two mullets
and in base a B" or "an A between in chief a mullet and an increscent and
in base a B" are not uncommon. Any other arrangement is unusual.
5. "Stylized" heraldic charges (maunches, water bourgets, millrinds,
etc.) are almost never seen.
6. Demi-beasts, arms couped at the shoulder (and possibly issuant from
clouds), creatures arranged so as to "support" or "maintain" a central
charge, and human figures occur much more frequently in Hungarian
heraldry than in any other national style I have seen.
7. Hungarian heraldry occasionally will use quite complex "picture
heraldry", especially in the 16th and 17th centuries. For example:
Gules, on a base vert a representation of a Hungarian man passant
vested azure armed proper statant upon the body of a turk fesswise vested
gules turbaned argent proper and upon the base to sinister a column argent
enfiled of a vine vert crowned Or. Szentmartoni, 1549. p. 149
8. Animate charges maintaining objects are not uncommon. Animals
are also likely to be pierced by arrows or vulned by swords.
9. Hungarian heraldry is much more "bloody" than other heraldry.
In addition to the various representations of Hungarians killing Turks
from 1540 onwards, you also have severed Turks heads, animals pierced by
arrows, disembodied arms, human figures brandishing weapons, or
occasionally animals attacking other animals.
10. Occasionally, Hungarian heraldry will arrange charges in
peculiar ways. For example there is a device where a dragon is in
annulo and another where a ram is eating the plant which forms the
Hungarian heraldry is difficult to blazon because of this. If you
have an arm issuant from clouds statant upon a crown striking a turk's head
it is difficult to know where to begin to blazon!
Hungarian heraldry is very different from the Anglo-Norman
heraldry that most people on this newsgroup are familiar with. Many
people will probably think of it as being "ugly" because of this. Heralds
in the Society for Creative Anachronism will be outraged by it since it
repeatedly defies all of the rules for submission of SCA heraldry.
However, it is fascinating because it is so different. Once you get past
the reaction of "who would want THAT on their arms!" you begin to see
that Hungarian heraldry is, like Polish herby or German hausmarken a
unique style and is worth study on its own terms.
Thomas Barnes/Lothar von Katzenellenbogen