Coat of arms

 Updated: 02/10/2010

In the following we are presenting the results of our research. In the angular brackets [ ] you will find the number of the source listed at the end oft the page. Surely for experts nothing new, but for beginners like we are perhaps interesting. We are grateful for suggestions and hints.

This page:

Historical Origin

Design of Coat of Arms


Historical Origin

Since beginning the 12th century, it was usual in western and central Europe to position a coat of arms sign as a distinguishing feature during fight or during tournaments of the knights equipped uniformly [2].

The use of a personal signum held it self over the downfall of the knighthood in the 13th/14th century and was used by dioceses, abbeys and cities, and by nobility and citizen families also [2].

Since the 14th century the coats of arms only could loaned and changed by the upper gentlemen (emperor, prince) through coat of arms letters [2].

Coat of arms right is today compared the name right. A coat of arms needs only the registration in the coat of arms register, for example the German coat of arms role [2].


Design of Coat of Arms

A coat of arms consists of shield, helmet, helmet deck, helmet bulge or helmet crown and crest.

Coat of arms components [2]

Shield: The background might show herald pictures (as patterned lines, formed heraldic cuts) and the coat of arms sign are represented on it [2].

Herald pictures [2]

The coat of arms organization is exactly according to heraldic rules determined. One rule says that the coat of arms must be identifiable to a specific distance (200 feet) unambiguously. That is the reason why there are only a limited number of coat of arms colors, the tinctures there are: red, blue, black, green and rarely purple [3].

Coat of arms colors tinctures [4]

As well as metal colors: gold and silver [3].

Coat of arms metal colors [4]

The heraldic furs are compared the color. The feh (calabar, commercial denotation for the fur from that top face monochrome grey and under side white skins of the North-East European and arctic sub-kinds of the squirrel) appears in white and blue color as cloud or feather feh. The fur is represented in natural color [2].

Coat of arms fur [4]

Helmet: The form of the helmet depends on the century and the state of the helmet carrier: The first helmet form was the above flat pot helmet (12th century), him would follow in the 13th/14th century the pot-helmet. The coat hanger helmet became later from nobility and of middle class that end favoured tilting helmet [3].

Helmet ceiling: The helmet ceiling was a kind cloth initial at the helmet to protection in front of the sun [3] and normally represents the coat of arms colors [2].

Helmet bulge or helmet crown: Since beginning the 14th century, between helmet and the crest a helmet bulge has become in use, in the case of nobility with a helmet crown [2].

In the case of the Gueinzius coat of arms, it is the buffalo horns which frame the crest.

Crest: Above the helmet the crest arises as a personality feature [2].

The coat of arms sign appears again in the case of the Gueinzius coat of arms here, that at the vinestock up-jumping roebuck.
It is generally usual that a coat of arms sign is chosen, which has a relation to the family history. However, that needs not be necessary.

















 [1] Kluge, Friedrich: Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 21. Auflage, Walter de Gruyther, Berlin, New York (1975)
 [2] Meyers Großes Taschenlexikon: B.I. Taschenbuchverlag, Mannheim, Leipzig, Wien, Zürich (1992)
 [3] Josef Ramsperger: (2010)
 [4] Carl-Alexander von Volborth: Heraldik, Belser Verlag, Stuttgart, Zürich (1992)

Who wants a coat of arms designed by professionals can contact e.g. Pro Heraldica

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