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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Edle von Werthenberg und Blumeneck - Bavière - (An., 20 sept. 1790) Écartelé au 1 d'or à l'aigle de sable aux 2 et 3 d'azur au lion d'or tenant de ses pattes un arbre de sinople celui du 3 contourné au 4 d'or à un paysan posé de front sur une terrasse de sinople habillé d'une redingote et d'une culotte de gueules chaussé de souliers de sable coiffé d'un chapeau à larges bords du même la main dextre étendue Sur le tout tranché a d'azur à un soleil d'or b de gueules à trois lis de jardin d'argent tigés et feuillés de sinople posés sur une terrasse du même Deux casques couronnés Cimiers 1° le lion du 3 issant Lambrequin d'or et de gueules 2° le paysan du 4 issant tenant trois lis de jardin d'argent tigés et feuillés de sinople les tiges croisées en sautoir et en pal Lambrequin d'or et d'azur.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Werthenberg Coat of Arms and Family Crest

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Werthenberg Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Werthenberg blazon are the lion rampant, sun, eagle and tree. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and azure.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 2. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3.

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 4. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 5.

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 6 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 7. The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.

The sun was long used as a potent symbol before the advent of heraldry and brought some of that existing meaning with it. In conventional heraldry it is normally borne in its splendour, that is with a face and a large number of alternating straight and wavy rays. 8 It can also be seen issuing from behind clouds, and in some cases a demi or half sun coming from the base, reflecting either the dawn, or perhaps as it appears in the arms of WESTWORTH, with the sunset. 9

Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period 10. They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference 11 as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject 12, but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!

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References

  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 2 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
  • 6 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sun
  • 9 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P296
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Eagle
  • 11 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P235-238
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P72-74