Thursday, December 29, 2011

Illustrated Heraldry Talks in 2012

Hello, everyone! I have exciting news about five new heraldry talks and presentations scheduled for 2012. These talks are sponsored by the College of Arms Foundation in partnership with the Committee on Heraldry of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

All talks are free and open to the public; they begin at 6 p.m. and each event lasts about two hours. All events take place at the NY G&B offices, 36 West 44th Street, Room 711, Manhattan. Reservations are suggested: email or post a comment here with your name and contact information. Here are the details.

Monday 12 March 2012
Presenter: The Rev. Guy W. Selvester, an expert on church heraldry and a member of the Committee on Heraldry
Topic: "The Use of the Miter versus the Galero in Ecclesiastical Heraldry."
Details: Fr. Selvester is a Governor-at-Large of the American Heraldry Society, as well as a fine heraldic designer and artist and a member of the Committee on Heraldry. He recently gave the Mark Elvins Lecture on Church Heraldry at the Heraldry Society in London. Pictured: Arms Surmounted by Galero.

Monday 16 April 2012
Presenters: John Shannon and Paul Campbell
Topic: How to Acquire English and Scottish arms.
Details: Both speakers are armigers. John Shannon is the chairman of the committee as well as the president of the College of Arms Foundation and acquired arms from the College of Arms in London.

Paul Campbell, a member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland, acquired arms for his father from the Court of Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, and is an expert on Campbell arms, or which there are many variants. Just learned that Paul will bring a full-sized color reproduction of his father's grant! Pictured: Letters Patent, John McConville Shannon

Monday 17 September 2012
Presenter: Joseph McMillan
Topic: The heraldry of American Presidents.
Details: This talk will cover both hereditary arms of early US presidents and also more recent granted arms. Mr. McMillan is a governor-at-large of the American College of Heraldry. A career civil servant with over 28 years of service in the Department of Defense, he is a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies. Pictured: Arms of President Chester A. Arthur.

Monday 3 December, 2012
Presenter: Cathy Bursey-Sabourin, Fraser Herald of the Canadian Heraldic Authority
Topic: The distinction between a logo and a coat of arms.
Details: Ms. Sabourin has been Fraser Herald at the Canadian Heraldic Authority in Ottawa since 1989. She is the principal artist of the Authority and has been responsible for the paintings made for the arms of the last five Governors General of Canada and the Coat of arms of Canada.

The Heraldry of Wine
During the coming year the committee members will select of a number of wine bottle labels displaying a coat of arms, and select some from a particular region. Then, in November, there will be a presentation on the history of those arms accompanied by a tasting of the wines in question. More details to come in mid-2012.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Heraldry at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

In early April, I toured the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC, with the St. Nicholas Society of NY. Our guide, the excellent and well-informed Father Thomas Pike, led us through the length and breadth of the building, where I took photos of most of the shields embedded in the floor (having wandered away on my own, no disrespect intended). I also photographed the baptistry. Here are a few images, with more to come.

First, here is the Stuyvesant shield from the baptistry:

The inscription reads: "This baptistry is erected to the glory of God and in loving memory of Augustus Van Horne Stuyvesant and Harriet Le Roy Suyvesant by their children Catherine E.S. Stuyvesant, Augustus Van Horne Stuyvesant Jr. and Anne W. Stuyvesant. Dedicated anno Domini MCMXXVIII.

The motto, I believe, reads: "Jovae praestat filere quam homini." The best translation I can give is "In excellence as possible by man," which is not elegant. [Man should strive for excellence?] Does anyone have a better one? I'd be grateful ... This is the same inscription that appears on the tomb of Rutherford Stuyvesant.

Here are two shields sent into the floor of a side aisle:

This is a stripped-down version of the arms of the City of Cologne, Germany, emphasizing the Three Kings, but without the eleven flames that are said to signify Saint Ursula.

The bones of the Three Kings (Magi) are said to be kept in a golden tomb in Cologne Cathedral. I leave it to you to discover whether this is true, though the story has its roots as far back as the twelfth century.

Finally for today, here is a rendering of the arms of the municipality of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain:

This rendering features the tomb of St. James, strongly associated with this city, and the star shining above his resting place. Omitted are the Host, chalice, and seven crosses that appear on the left side of the arms of the city. What you see above appears on the right half (as you view it) of the shield.

Comments, corrections, additions, anyone? Always grateful for your time and consideration.

A very happy Easter to all!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Photos NYC Seals

Greetings and early good morning! Just posted four new photos of seals on public buildings on the New York City Heraldry page on Facebook. Come on over, join the group, and check out all the photos!

More here soon ...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New York City's Seals

In Central Park, there is still one example of the old seal of New York City, which looks like this:

from Seal and flag of the city of New York: authorized by the committee appointed by the mayor to commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the installation of the first mayor ... Edited by John B. Pine. In the public domain; on Google Books.

The relatively new seal bears the date 1625. You can see it on many municipal buildings, on (copyright protected), and on NYC licenses.

Heraldists and historians: Why was the date changed? Do you know the answer?

Do you know where the old seal appears in Central Park?

Post here -- and stay tuned for a great story.