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Re: coat of arms necessary vs required (fwd)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Giovan Donato Falconieri:

> To throw another point into the fray:
>   Lord Hreodbeorht,
>     You state as zealously that your side is true and Tibor's is false,
> as he does his own.  But was there truly a single practice throughout
> period?

I can speak to this as a scholar, mundanely, of mediaeval law:
not really. The laws controlling coats of arms evolved
differently in different places.

>   In the "Thames and Hudson Dictionary of the Italian Renaissance"
> (ISBN et al. available upon request), the senior editor under his own
> initials states that impresa (Italian heraldry of the late Renaissance)
> were assumed by individuals as they saw fit.  I'm attempting to find the
> sources for his assertion, although it may be original with him.  One
> would then not necessarily "determine [arms one wishes to assume] were not
> in conflict with other known arms";  although one might be careful
> not to impersonate those of the local authorities or persons one
> respected, one could certainly imitate them.

He's wrong about the nature of imprese. I've made a brief study
of them, and my work can be found on the St. Gabriel website.
They weren't coats of arms, but temporary insignia adopted for a
single event-usually a tourney or pageant. The aristocracy of the
Italian towns and countryside had coats of arms like those of the
aristocracy of other places-that is to say, they were originally
assumed, and in a few rare cases, granted, but after the passage
of many years, were inherited, and changed only by the practices
of cadency, augmentations of honor, and-though this is unlikely-
abatements of honor.

The proof of this lies in part in the existence of Italian
armorials that depict _permanent_ coats of arms, and in part
because the foundations of the laws of heraldry were laid by a
Paduan, Bartolo of Sassoferrato, in the 1350's, in his De
Insignis et Armis. I suggest that you examine my own website,
where I have deposited a monograph by my own hand on heraldic

>   There are cultures in period where it is perhaps *inappropriate*
> for one to register one's heraldry.  A central heraldic authority?

Indeed! However, even in Italy, the matter of usurpation of arms
would come up.

>   The first heraldically-decorated item I ever made bore a badge of
> my own devising;  when I replace it and make more, they will be likewise.
> I should be a fool to take the arms of His Majesty or Her Excellency in
> these lands where I now live, but those arms do not suit me anyway.

This is indeed so. However, signior, you are in another land,
where your practices may not be the norm, and, as they say, "When
in Rome..." In Portugal, we are also rather free about assuming
arms, but here, I found that I had to live like an Atlantian, and
not as a Lusitanian. 

Pedro de Alcazar, AoA
Barony of Storvik, Atlantia
Pursuivant Extraordinary and Junior Minion
Or, six Castles Vert within a Bordure Gules semy of Roundels Or
Craig Levin
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