Thanks for the feedback and the link, Daniel. Actually, I think the botony version is preferable. So should the emblazonment say "Cross of Lorraine botony," or is botony the default? I hear what you’re saying about arms of equal length, but my understanding is that the only hard and fast rule about Crosses of Lorraine is that they have two bars, so that some renderings are more or less indistinguishable from the patriarchal cross.
Also, the more I compare Philip’s two versions of the shield, the more I think the acorns actually look best bendwise, but still with caps up, as he had them on the first rendering of the shield. So how should that be expressed? It seems like any reference to stalks suggests the acorns should be slipped.
I would have thought that "two acorns bendwise caps upward" would be perfectly adequate.
I’ll get in before Mike and say that what you need to do with any design is the "fridge test". Get an emblazonment where you’re fairly happy with the artistic side of it and print out lots of copies in colour and stick them on the fridge door and other places where you will see them. It’s a great way to test whether a design has staying power or starts to grate.
I would also suggest different sizes and places and places other than the fridge where you will come on them suddenly or not look at them directly - I recall having copies next to the mirror in the bathroom so that I saw it out of the corner of my eye when shaving and on the back of the shed door.
Different sizes are good because something that looks fine at letter paper size may not scale up or down well.
Good idea, James!
I would definitely specify bottany since crosses come in so many shapes, no one can safely make any assumptions. As for cross bar lengths, you could just leave it up to the artist’s discretion. This option has it’s advantages and still gets the idea of a French connection across. But if you really have an issue with the graded cross bars, then you could specify that the cross bars are of equal length. I, personally, would probably just leave it up to the artist’s discretion since the length of the bars doesn’t really affect the overall design or its recognizability that much, and it makes the blazon shorter and less technical sounding. But, this is your shield after all, so make of me opinions what you will.
Can anyone post a picture or two of possibilities for Fred’s arms? I’d really love to actually see these great ideas! :D
You mean different designs than the one Philip posted earlier in this thread?
Yes, please. It’s just that there are so many good ideas that I’m starting to get them a little confused. Perhaps I’ll re-read the thread. Maybe then I’ll have less difficulty.
Okay, so here’s the next installment:
Arms: Argent a fess raguly in chief an escallop between two acorns bendwise caps upward and in base a Cross of Lorraine botony all Gules.
BTW, Fred, I noticed that you are still listed as a "Registered User". I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to join our merry band of heraldista. With AHS membership, you then have access to the "Members Area" which has a wealth of stored information regarding heraldry and the like. You are also given the right to vote on issues pertaining to the society. You will also be a member of one of the most prestigious and learned societies of heraldica in America. All this for a mere $20. What a bargain! :D
Okay, so here’s the next installment:
Including a forum that will help you focus on the design a CoA for yourself, as opposed to this advice which is just should you base it on an ancestor’s arms or not
Wow, Philip. That’s really handsome. I think I’ll accept the invitation. Thanks!
Just to clarify, Colin, in case you’ve missed some of the exchanges here, the design Philip has worked up is actually my own. He has translated the shield and crest emblazonments, and a couple of members have suggested cosmetic changes. The ancestor’s design I was thinking of using is different.
Philip, thank you for posting that. I saw the other postings, but I guess that "flory" floored me! :rolleyes:
Fred, this is a good coat of arms! After the Fridge Test, the Stamp Test, and the Forum Test, you should then know whether you like these arms. However, I kinda like these! :cool:
In terms of the refrigerator test, I will definitely keep glancing daily at Philip’s rendering of my design for a while and see how it wears. I am interested in what the rest of the members have to say about it. My concern is that the design is too overtly symbolic, that it almost has this narrative quality which may be a little much. Perhaps this comes from employing three different charges.
The only rival, really, is some differenced version of the Habersham arms, which I feel a lot of affection for: Azure, a fess between six crosses pattee argent. Crest: On a ducal coronet or, a mullet sable.
As it happens, John DuLong’s advice to study the shields for Picardie in D’Hozier led me to conclude that the Habersham arms actually partake of this subtle feel that Picardie emblazonments seem to have. The Habersham arms seem to allude only in the most oblique way to the biography of James Habersham himself.
My concern is that the design is too overtly symbolic, that it almost has this narrative quality which may be a little much. Perhaps this comes from employing three different charges.
Not just different types of charges but three different charges and a busy ordinary (the fess raguly). We discussed this issue in chat a day ago and it was my opinion that something had to go, that is unless you were going to assume a second escutcheon to record the remainder of the family CV. You seem to be rather comfortable with the combination of Argent and Gules, so I really cannot see you changing this. The problem with the charges is the single Cross Lorraine, it throws off the balance of the design. This of course could be remedied with two more crosses, all three of them being of a smaller size. It could also be that all of the raguly protrusions of the fess when combined with the six ends of the single cross simply make the entire design to busy for the eye. A plain fess might work much better, or you might prefer incorporating a few of the less obtrusive crosses pattée from the Habersham arms into the present version.
I think that it would be nice to incorporate the crest coronet from the other side of your family into your crest. There are plenty of greyhound crests about from which the greyhound is issuant (from a crest coronet) in any of a number of different attitudes. As long as it is differenced in some way from the others, with the cotton as you had intended or the mullet Sable from the Habersham crest, it would be fine.
Are you aiming for a French ‘style’? The vast majority of French arms that I have seen have been simple; that is, there are minimal charges and usually two colors.
An interesting alternative would be to take this Habersham arms you are fond of, substituting the colors you want and switching the cross pattee for one of the charges in your design above. Something like; Gules, a fess between six escallops argent.
Hope that jogs your mind a bit and good luck with the design.
What I think of as a characteristically French design is an ordinary and three of something, or a main charge and three of something on a chief. In any case, the repetition of three charges seems to be typical.
Also, straight-edged field divisions and ordinaries seem more usual than the varied-edged versions, and raguly not typical at all.
Just a general impression.