20 January 2008

An Example of a Roll of Arms

8. With all the interesting terminology flying about, what a Roll of Arms is is almost surprisingly straightforward. As respects heraldic art, it's a visual listing of coats of arms. This example is from an document known as the Armorial Lebreton, described here by a local SCA colleague of my acquaintance, Zenobia Naphtali in this article as:
L'armorial Le Breton is a collection of armorials from the 15th -16th C, which were bound together and in the possession of Hector Le Breton, Montjoie King of Arms of France. It contains a photofacsimile of over 900 coats of arms, many of which are French. It also contains significant amounts of introductory material by various authors, as well as a detailed armorial, providing not only names and blazons, but historical information about the armigers. All the explanatory text is in French. Emmanuel de Boos (and others), L'Armorial Le Breton, (Somology éditions d'Art, Paris, 2004, ISBN 2-85056-792-2.)

And here's a section of it:


This picture was scanned in from the book Heraldry: Its Origins and Meaning, by Michel Pastoureau, a rather prolific heraldic authority and one of the ones you're most likely to run into when researching via the SCA. This particular one, ISBN 0-500-30074-7, is a pocket-sized by highly useful volume, nicknamed "the little Pastoureau" by Collegians; the "big Pastoureau" I only know by reputation, it's in French, and is called Traité d'Héraldique, and is both hard to find and quite expensive, I understand.

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