Heraldry in the Somerset County (NJ) Courthouse

Jay Bohn
Jay Bohn
Total Posts:  283
Joined  04-03-2008
20 February 2010 13:57

Yesterday I had occasion to appear in the historic courtroom in the Somerset County Courthouse in Somerville, NJ. I got there early and noticed this on the wall above the bench:



(Sorry for the picture quality; it was taken through some glass with my BlackBerry.)


At first I thought that it was meant to be a display of the US arms with the eagle crest and cherub supporters as artistic adornments. Had that been the case the shield would have been wrong because the US arms do not have stars in chief and there should be seven white (argent) and six red (gules) palewise pieces. (See elsewhere on the AHS website for common mistakes about the US arms and seal.)


However, as I looked around the octagonal rotunda of that part of the building, I noticed the same design on the door knobs, surrounded by the legend "Seal of Somerset County":




For comparison, the current seal of Somerset County: