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some of the MSS., especially in such as tion seems desirable, the armorials may be are of large extent or of frequent repetition done fatly, and when on the other hand a when economy of time and labour was desired. more elaborate treatment seems fit, modelling When, however, circumstances allowed, time in relief or any other suitable means of and skill were not spared in the elaboration of decorative effect may be employed. The old the work. It is of course for this reason that work itself, full of variety and freedom, teaches the heraldry in architectural decoration is | us how to look at the subject without pedantry, generally found to be among the best work of but not without knowledge. It teaches the its period.
right of individual treatment combined with In the ceremonial shields, this elaboration is selection, and illustrates in a measure the very great. They were made of layers of essentially artistic principles taught to Kipvarious materials, such as canvas, stretched on liog's primæval ballad-maker by his totem, wooden frames, and the changes were then “There are nine and sixty ways of composing tribal lays, modelled in gesso, and afterwards gilt and
And every single one of them is right.” painted, or were fashioned in stamped leather It is not meant, however, that ignorant and and pinned down to the surface. The spaces | reckless scribbling is right. Order as well as were diversified with the beautiful tracery freedom is necessary, and this can only be known as diapering, and the whole result was secured by a study of the subject from all rich and beautiful in the extreme. Large points of view. numbers of these shields were made in Italy The early treatment of the crest, helm, and down to a late period. A most admirable mantling will also amply repay study. Being English example is the shield at Canterbury made of light material, and having its weight, Cathedral, said to be that of the Black Prince. which was still considerable, supported by the Here the lions are admirably distributed, full shoulders on which the helm rested, ihe crest of power and life, and less extravagantly drawn was of conspicuous size and is so represented. than those of John of Eltham at Westminster In early times it is said to have been one of the Abbey, but they lack something of leonine privileges of knighthood, and this would character. The fleur de lis of France are additionally explain its emphasis. The helm beautifully free and graceful, and though so dis was usually that known as the great helm, to similar in shape to the lions, are equally well distinguish it from the helmet, basinet or other designed to occupy their spaces and equally form of head armour. The latter, having a well proportioned to them. The whole work, visor or front which opened, and a movable which is so excellent an example now of some neck, came into use in the 15th century to. of the best qualities of heraldic design, has meet the desire for lightness and mobility in suffered from the wear of the centuries, but actual battle, and thenceforward crests and when it was uninjured must have been superb. the great helms that bore them were reserved The lack of leonine character in the lions for the tournament and other military solemmnight naturally be expected when it is remem nities. There was another especially practical bered that they were the descendants of reason for this disuse. It had been found generations of copies and, therefore, were not that a crest was a dangerous ornament in consciously generalised from objects seen by | actual battle, for at close quarters it served as the artist. Even when he did see a lion his an excellent handle by which to pull down the. acquired ideas were too strong for him, so that wearer's head. King Stephen is said to have one in a 13th century book of sketches, though been taken prisoner in this manner. The noted in the margin as “ drawn from the quick,” mantling, which was at first quite simple, is very like its patternlike fellows.
scon became of the greatest value as an Whether the treatment was simple or elabo. element of composition, and the importance rate, however, its breadth of effect and decora. of its free possibilities of line was quickly tive quality were nearly always conspicuous. recognised. From a mere representation of These various methods, both satisfactory in their the helm drapery, it thenceforth developed way, are of special interest to those who re through various forms until it became in many quire historic sanction to a choice of treatment, instances similar to the contemporary archiin opposition to the opinion that, as certain tectural tracery, when, as in the 15th century methods of work, or works of a certain period are carvings, it surrounded the shield and ornagood, they are, in addition, perfect and every mented the surface of the panel in a very thing else is wrong. So, when a flat treatment, in complete and beautiful way. higrmony or contrast with surrounding decora- ! By the Tudor time heraldry had ceased to be
used in war in the old way, with such exceptions warning may perhaps be permitted against as banners and the decorative and emblematic making a fetish of the work of any period, shields on ships of war, and it, of course, however good. Another is against mere copyremained an essential part of the tournaments, | ing of old examples however excellent, except, while they continued to exist, but heraldry in of course, for purposes of study. Merely to. the main became merely decorative thence- | copy bits of heraldic precedent and to piece forward, retaining, of course, its allusive and them together is not the way to make an symbolic qualities. In this way it greatly in- | artistic thing at all. A copy has no vitality of creased, thus sharing in the impetus given to the its own, and cannot even reproduce that of its arts by the end of the Wars of the Roses. At this | original, for it is more than doubtful if it is time a remarkable number of simple flowers possible to reproduce the spirit of work done came into heraldic use, columbine, gilly- under other conditions and modes of thought. flowers, marigolds, honeysuckle, and many | Even Pugin, to whom the revival of decorative more appearing not only as arms but in gar- i heraldry owes so much, with all his sympathy, lands as decorative accessories.
and with all his powers of draughtsmanship, By this time also the shield shapes had be- cannot be said to have altogether caught the come less simple, following in their cuspings the intense vigour of his originals. fluted armour of which they formed part, and Again, hardly anything possesses, at the others of which large numbers were designed same time, all the good qualities that it might by the little masters were frank applications of have, and we sometimes excuse the absence of the decorative scrolls of the time. The concave one because of the supreme way in which shield whose raised edges took the light and another is expressed. In doing new work a helped to define the form, while assisting, to broader view is necessary if it is to result in gether with the shadow within it, the distri. anything but a shadow of a former style. bution of light and shade, became much in use. Heraldry should be expressive, interesting, and
Some of the early renaissance heraldry re- decorative. Original in treatment, and exhibittained much of the excellence of the preceding | ing the qualities that the best of the old work Gothic as regards the pose of the figures and | teaches us to desire, rather than being a copy of the general composition, and it attempted, in it. The term “ original ” here does not mean addition, the characterisation that was want expression by means of wild arrangements of ing in the earlier work. In many respects it weird lines, which are perhaps original in the was very admirable, and seems, in its indivi. sense that there is nothing like them on earth, dual thought working on some of the sug-| but rather the originality, or, perhaps I should gestions or traditions of the older style, to say, individuality, which comes from serious suggest the lines on which modern heraldry attempts to express qualities rather than to might develop. At the same time there copy styles. was a more naturalistic school, of which The artistic expression of heraldry may be the heraldry in Della Robbia's work may be regarded in two ways; as a representation of taken as the expression, and this also is an actual shield, crest, helm, and so forth, as interesting, but as a warning. It most they would be represented in a picture, of a unfortunately overpowered the more decorative tournament for instance, or as a presentation style, and ultimately developed into the feeble-of the essential heraldic facts, in the way that ness which characterised the heraldry that is thought most expressive but without too much preceded the revival in the last century. regard to preceding styles. The former seems
A well-known example of the better renais. more suitable to ancient and historic arms, sance is the plate by Albert Dürer, of a shield ) and the latter to be more likely to harmonise bearing a rampant lion. In this plate there with modern decorative surroundings, as well is also evident a desire to render the mantling as to possess more vitality and variety in itself. more cloth-like, though still complicated. This harmony with surrounding decoration, Mantling afterwards followed the influence of is one of the essentials of design that should be the conventional leaf forms of the renaissance. continually kept in mind. Another condition, · I have ventured to give you this slight sketch equally important, is suitability to the materials of the development of the artistic side of and methods by which the design is erheraldry, not as a mere historic retrospect, but pressed. The two very obvious points can. because it is in the study of old work that not be too often insisted on, however guidance is to be found for present require. | wearisome the reiteration, for they are even ments. But in this connection, a word of now frequently ignored. One hears of shields painted on vellum (with all the detail and as actual measurement, but only as suggestfinish to which that beautiful material lends ing the relative weights in the design. The itself), sent as a substitute for a working character of the crest, whether broad and drawing for large embroidery or carving, and solid, or tall and slight, would affect this. accompanied by instructions that they must be The result of these proportions is to bring the strictly followed. Or of friezes and panels, of helm a little above the actual centre of the which the different parts, heraldic and orna- design, where it forms a satisfactory point on mental, have been done by different designers, which the other objects group themselves. working in ignorance of each other's design. With regard to the proportions of ordinaries The general design is made, perhaps of well to their fields, many rules to be found in drawn and graceful lines, with spaces where it | treatises may be safely ignored. In good work is thought, probably correctly, that the shields the ordinaries vary in size with the requirements would tell. Then a sketch, perhaps a mere of distinctness in respect to the other charges, diagrammatic note of the arms, is procured, and their variation in this way has no other enlarged to the right size, and blindly copied. significance. I do not, of course, deny the useOf course the result is patchwork. Careless fulness of points of proportion, they may be treatment of heraldry seems to pervade applied useful so long as it is recognised that they are art, and so to spoil what is otherwise :neritorious approximate and variable guides instead of work. Muchincongruity arises from fear lest im dogmatic inflexible rules. With regard to proving the drawing or composition may violate charges, it is equally impossible to say what heraldic rules, and this brings us to the necessity exact proportion they should bear to the field, for acquiring such a knowledge of the subject as | nor in most cases could we measure it if we will enable the designer to know what points are did. It must be a matter of artistic percepreally essential, and therefore to be carefully tion which decides whether a space is properly retained and accentuated where accent is filled. In any case the proportion would be an proper, and what, on the other hand, may be apparent rather than scientific one, and would modified or ignored. A knowledge of the be greatly modified by circumstances, colour for system of heraldic description, called blazon, | instance. I need hardly point out that the will be absolutely necessary to this end. I actual measurements would not be the same for Pedantry in non-essential matters is of course a white object on black as for a black one on absurd, and artistic freedom is always to be white. It is curious how prevalent the desire has desired, but there must first of all be a basis of always been to reduce to exact rules matters knowledge on which to work.
that are insusceptible of that kind of conIt will be necessary to study the subject | trol. The 16th century efforts at a geometric sufficiently to distinguish between the essential | way of drawing letters and the attempt to principles (such as underlaid the old good work) regulate minutely heraldic drawing are inand the later amplifications of rules, full stances of a peculiarly wrongheaded way of of pedantic insistence on regulating every | approaching matters essentially æsthetic. detail however unimportant, which were made! As to the animal forms, vigour is of the when the legal mode of thought had dis- utmost importance, together with strong placed the artistic one. The rules that are characterisation. In this connection the lions necessary to prevent confusion will be found of the Assyrian reliefs are very suggestive. sufficiently elastic to allow variety of treatment. The expression of strong, leonine character
Among the qualities that it will be desired to by means of the accentuation of the muscular express are just proportion, distinct definition, | masses is a method that lends itself well to good distribution in filling spaces, strongly heraldic design. The composite figures are characterised and well accented forms, and also well worthy of study in relation to the vigorous pose.
griffins and other monsters of later times. The proportion of the parts of a usual form | Gerard Leigh, writing in the middle of the of heraldic group of shield, crest, helm and 16th century, has something to say about mantling, to each other remained fairly con- | griffins; they are, as you know, half eagle and stant from the end of the 13th century to l half lion, which students of natural history Tudor times, and may be taken (roughly) to may like to know, thus : “ Griffins bear great be two-fifths of the whole height for the enmity to man and horse ; though the man be shield and three-fifths for the helmet and armed and on horseback, yet they take the crest. This merely as a practical guide. I one with the other quite from the ground and I need hardly say that it is not to be taken carry them clean away. I think they are of
great hugèness," he goes on " for I have à arrangements for the consequent fight, the claw of one of their paws which should show Scottish knight, who had but one eye, them to be as big as two lyons.” In another demanded that his opponent should lose one. place Leigh refuses to believe something of his, in order to be on an equality. because “he had not seen the proof thereof." | There will not be time to do more than
It will be well to consider animal pose in briefly allude to colour treatment. It will relation to the anatomical possibilities, and suffice to say that it is not at all desirable that the qualities of dignity, strength, or grace heraldry should scream in mural decoration which are associated with certain charges, however necessary it may have been to should also find due expression.
do so in the field. So long as the • The schemes of arrangement that suggest tinctures are distinguishable with sufficient themselves as suitable to decorative purposes, clearness any modification of tint may be are very various. Complete series of family | used, and the colour may be broken by arms and those of alliances, together with the means of diaper or other surface treatment honours conferred on individuals ; arms of that may be desirable in order to make the successive owners; shields marking the visits heraldry take its appointed place. Always of distinguished guests, and so forth.
avoiding, however, any interference with Unity of plan, such as when the arms are the clear statement of the heraldric facts. arranged in relation to some central object The decoration may be modelled in gesso as the altar in a church or the fireplace in a and treated with monochrome, so as to room, for example, is, of course, desirable. emphasize the modelling, or in many another In the latter case the central position would be | way that practice will suggest. appropriately occupied by the entire armorials. The revival of the art of enamel also offers a
The employment of Badges in decoration splendid material for heraldic work. The opens up a large and interesting field of de series of works in enamel on the monuments, sign from their value as decoration in places and above all, the early Stall Plates of the where shields of arms are not so suitable. | Knights of the Garter at Windsor, are too well Though not subject to the same rules as the known to need more than an allusion to the regular arms they were still regarded as of | magnificent field of study they afford; but it great though secondary importance, and be. may perhaps be permitted to hope that the came practically hereditary in many cases. beautiful art of enamelling which (though its Time, however, will not permit of their | revival is less than 20 years old) is fully capable adequate treatment here. A kind of badge, of worthily following its long ago predecessors, more ephemeral in character, called an may have, some day, an opportunity of doing impress, was a fashion that came to us
so. from Italy, as many other heraldric The value of heraldry in domestic decora. fashions did. They were devised from tion is also obvious. One can hardly imagine mere fancy, and consisted of a device | anything to excel the gemlike effect of armorial with an explanatory motto. Henry VIII. and | enamels on the dark panels of a library, for his knights at the Field of the Cloth of Gold example. bore a series of devices, of which they wore
Whatever be the material in which heraldry part each day until the whole was complete. finds its means of expression, it is permitted Cosmo de Medici had a tortoise with a sail confidently to hope that the wide and increasing attached and the motto “Festina lente,” interest that is being extended to the subject and there were others innumerable. Like | may result in the production of work that is other heraldic matters, they sometimes | not unworthy to follow the best of its preled to quarrels. A knight who strutted decessors. up and down at the court of King James, had a falcon embroidered on his sleeve, and the motto, “I bear a raven,
DISCUSSION. fearless in flight, who checks at him his death
Mr. CHARLES CHADWYCK-HEALEY, K.C., said is dight.” Then a Scottish knight saw the
that he had listened with great interest to Mr. Eve's device, and after a while appeared with
remarks, and he wished to express his appreciation of another. His was a raven with a piece of
the work that Mr. Eve bad been doing for some time meat, and its motto said, “I bear a raven in developing the art of heraldry in this country. picking at a piece, who pecks at him, I'll peck There was very great need for such work, for the at his nese." The story goes on, that in the country had been in a lamentable condition in this
matter for a great number of years, and it was so the greater beauty of heraldic designs on buildings still, in spite of everything that had been done to than in other things. He thought that the chief bring about improvement. One need only to look, reason of this was, that in buildings, heraldic designs for instance, at the miserable way in which heraldry were always executed in higher relief. was impressed upon silver plate by the silversmith, by means of engraving. An instance came under his Mr. GEORGE CLUlow said that Mr. Eve had put personal observation a year or two ago. It was desired | before them, in a very interesting way, examples of the to put a shield of arms upon a piece of old plate, and decorative use of heraldic design in England and one of the leading silversmiths in London was invited other countries, but had omitted Germany. He to engrave it. A preliminary sketch was made, but regretted this, because there were, in Germany, a more pitiable thing was never turned out. The numerous examples of the 16th century which charges were reduced to the very smallest possible abounded in the vigorous and decorative character dimensions, so that they could hardly be recognised. on which Mr. Eve had properly laid much stress. The artist seemed to desire to display as much as As to the way in which heraldry is often expressed possible the colour of the shield. The ordinary was on plate, they must look at the subject from the also of the smallest dimensions. He hoped that the point of view of the ability of the person called time was not very far distant when heraldry as a in to do the work. The incident of which Mr. means of decoration might be developed, and that Chadwyck-Healey had told them, displayed, of course, the practice of it would permeate through every class great ignorance on the part of the designer and of artificer. But that could only be brought about engraver. It seemed to him that attention ought to by conscientious work, and by the example of men be called to the fact that there were among them who had made the subject their study. He believed gentlemen who were capable of supplying heraldry in that a great deal was being done on the Continent in scientific form, and according to the proper heraldic developing heraldry in design. Probably continental use. The value of a paper, such as had been read, design would prove to be in the end rather more was that it would call attention to that fact. forid than English people cared to see, but, as an illustration of continental work he might refer to the Mr. FRANK FREDERICK, in reply to the Chairman, Munich almanack, which was published every year, said that the whole subject was absolutely new to and wbich could be bought for a shilling. It was full him, as he came from a country where heraldry was of beraldic designs. The publication of a work of not regarded, and where it was only seen in decorasimilar character was one of the ways in which heraldic tion and design. Only that day, in walking in the design might be popularised in this country.
South Kensington Museum, he was struck with the
fact that there was such a mine of wealth of design Mr. R. GARRAWAY Rice agreed that the subject there. was of great interest. It was noticeable how much better the earlier heraldry was than the later. If he Mr. ALEXANDER MILLAR said that he had derived understood Mr. Eve's work aright, it had gone on extreme pleasure from Mr. Eve's book. That was a the principle of trying to bring back that simplicity work which everyone interested in the subject ought which was true decoration, and to avoid excessive orna to possess. But, like another speaker, he had ment. In the 18th century, when classical forms pre been e little disappointed not to find more vailed in architecture, heraldry, which was essentially reference to German heraldry. He possessed a mediæval, was out of place, and it was very difficult book of which an English edition was about to be to introduce it, hence architecture and heraldry published, which appeared to him to be the fullest seemed to have fallen apart. At the present day one and finest work on German heraldic design, so far as had the advantage of being able to study the various ancient examples were concerned. In that book, the periods, but it seemed to him that the difficulty which crest appeared to be composed, in many cases, of a modern designer had to contend with was that enormous horns, taking a sort of lyre shape, and having at his finger-ends practically everything that ending in a kind of trumpet mouth. He did not had gone before, it was extremely difficult to avoid a think that he had seen anything like it in English kind of mixture. The difficulty of modern artists was heraldry, though it was extremely common in Germany. to give something pure and to avoid introducing He sbould like very much to ask whether Mr. Eve features which were out of place.
could explain what the purport of that design was.
Reference had been made to a German almanack, Mr. R. PHILLIPS said that heraldry was a great which had been published for seven or eight years; aid in omament, but no doubt those interested something of the same kind appeared in this country in the subject would agree that it had not retained
this year and last year, and he had copies of it. This the dignity and importance which properly be- | book gave the English coats of arms in precisely the longed to it. . He remembered in his wanderings same style that coats of arms were given in the in the New Forest coming upon a perfect mine German almanack, but the design was less extravagant, of heraldry in the old Abbey Church at Christ. and had a more chastened method of expression. church. One point which had occurred to him, was Mr. Eve referred in his book to the origin of the