The Heraldic Art Source Book by Peter Spurrier

Jonathan R. Baker
Jonathan R. Baker
Total Posts:  625
Joined  27-03-2007
29 March 2007 16:08

I had not seen this book mentioned anywhere in this sub-forum, so I thought I’d post it up here for other’s benefit.  I picked it up at the library last night, and read it in its entirety.  Anyway, on to the book.

Spurrier, Peter.  The Heraldic Art Source Book. 128 Pages.

Printed by Bath Press, Bath, UK, 1997.

Distributed in the US by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. (New York).

ISBN:  0 7137 2708 X


Table of Contents:
<ol class=“bbcode_list”>
<li>The History and Origins of Heraldry</li>
<li>Heradlry Today</li>
<li>Description of a Coat of Arms</li>
<li>Theory of Heraldic Art</li>
<li>Partition Lines</li>
<li>Ordinaries and Sub-ordinaries</li>
<li>Charges and Field Sports</li>
<li>Coronets of Rank</li>
<li>Beasts and Monsters</li>
<li>Glossary of Terms</li>

Formerly the York Herald, Spurrier is exclusively concerned with English heraldry.  The reason I picked up the book was because of the high number of large, clear illustrations that demonstrated the various components that go into the design of an armorial achievement.  There are 175 black and white drawings as well as sixteen color plates, each with several depictions.  It was relatively easy to understand.  I don’t think I had to use the glossary more than once or twice.  As this was the first actual book that I’ve read on heraldry (it’s all been internet research beforehand) I don’t know how it compares to others of it’s kind.  I found the book useful, but again, I don’t know how useful it would be to those who are well-versed in the subject.


Next on the reading list is Stephen Slater’s The Complete Book of Heraldry, although it will probably take much longer to wade through.



David Pritchard
David Pritchard
Total Posts:  2058
Joined  26-01-2007
29 March 2007 19:14

I purchased this book some years ago because it had heraldic illustrations of animals not normally depicted in heraldry books such as the mole, the camel and the rabbit among others. The book has the greatest number of illustrations of heraldic monsters that I have ever seen in a single reference book. Some of the depicted monsters are: the lamia, the ipotane, the musimon, the yale, the polyger, the trogodice, the parandus and many more. It is a useful addition to any heraldic library.

Joseph McMillan
Joseph McMillan
Total Posts:  7658
Joined  08-06-2004
29 March 2007 19:37

I’m adding this to our "Basic Heraldic Bookshelf," linked from the homepage.

Guy Power
Guy Power
Total Posts:  1576
Joined  05-01-2006
29 March 2007 20:02

Jonathan R. Baker;42837 wrote:

I had not seen this book mentioned anywhere in this sub-forum, so I thought I’d post it up here for other’s benefit.

Thanks Jonathan!

I wasn’t aware of this book and have now just purchased it from for $19 including shipping.