HeraldicArt.org: Traceable Art | Emblazons | Blog

Bärenschnitt Badge

I stumbled upon this armorial design while doing some research into obscure field divisions and decided to add it to my collection of badges.


Per bend sinister argent and gules, issuant from the line of division a bear’s head and a bear’s head inverted contourny counterchanged.

The illustration is adapted from a woodcut by Hans Burgkmair the Elder of his arms, 1516. Burgkmair was a painter and engraver who became a master woodcut printmaker. Continue reading “Bärenschnitt Badge”

Name and Device for Hrotger the Tervingi

Hrotger had been using his name for many years without registering it, but was inspired to do so when he encountered my post of simple field-only armory.

In comparison to the simplicity of his chosen armory, researching his chosen name was significantly more difficult, because documentary sources for Germanic peoples in the period immediately following the collapse of the Roman Empire are somewhat limited, and it is not a culture with which I have much familiarity — an interesting challenge, and a good learning opportunity. Continue reading “Name and Device for Hrotger the Tervingi”

Name and Device for Arthur von Eschenbach

Arthur had already selected a name and armory in consultation with another herald, Francesco Gaetano Grèco d’Edessa, so preparing his submission forms was a simple matter of illustration and onomastic research.


Per fess argent and sable, a cross gules and in chief two fleurs de lys sable.


Arthur” is an English masculine given name. It is attested to the sixteenth century, appearing in “The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources” (S.L. Uckelman, ed. 2018).

English given names may be borrowed into sixteenth-century German names under the terms of the February 2015 cover letter. Continue reading “Name and Device for Arthur von Eschenbach”

Frequency of Last Names

Following up on my recent post with the most common first names in the Society’s armorial, here’s a list of the hundred most common last names registered to date.

It’s no surprise that last names are more diverse than first names, so this round up of the most popular bynames in the Society doesn’t have  anything that rises to the level of Bill, Bob, Mike, and Tom found in my recent post.

Still, there are clearly some entries here that are relatively common, and it’s an interesting mix of types, including locative, patronymic, descriptive, and occupational bynames. Continue reading “Frequency of Last Names”

Frequency of First Names

With over fifty thousand personal names registered in the Society’s armorial database, it comes as no surprise that a number of name elements are reused numerous times, while others are rare or unique.

I recently looked at the frequency of name elements by their position in a name, which allowed me to pull together the below list of the one hundred most common first names. Continue reading “Frequency of First Names”

Frequency of Branch Designators

As the herald of the Crown Province of Østgarðr, I am well aware that it is the only branch in the Society to bear that particular designator — a result of its distinctive history as the home territory of the earliest royalty of the East Kingdom — and I became curious as to what other unusual branch designators were to be found in the catacombs of the Society’s armorial database.

A bit of data extraction produced the following table: Continue reading “Frequency of Branch Designators”

Provincial Awards Missing From the Kingdom Order of Precedence

The East Kingdom Order of Precedence site, generally referred to as “the EK OP”, records tens of thousands of kingdom and baronial awards issued over the East’s fifty-year history.

It’s an impressive feat of data collection, given the all-volunteer nature of our Society, but it is not flawless. The reporting process involves repeated transcription of unfamiliar names, and I am given to understand that the web interface used to enter and update data in the system is not particularly easy to use, so a number of errors and omissions have accumulated over time and it can take a while to correct them. Continue reading “Provincial Awards Missing From the Kingdom Order of Precedence”

April’s Traceable Art

There’ve been 120 new illustrations added to the Book of Traceable Heraldic Art since February, bringing us to a total of 2,600 items.

This batch includes a depiction of a belladona flower and a number of other images by Nicholas de Estleche, as well as two caps — a bycocket and a cap of maintenance — and some everyday items found in medieval households, including a grater, a funnel, and a hand mirror. Continue reading “April’s Traceable Art”