Today reproduction coats of arms are sold by just about every online outlet as a quirky addition to your collection of home accessories. You've only got to type in 'coat of arms' to Amazon to see what gets thrown at you and I'm not going to elaborate. At a basic level a coat of arms is a shield with symbols, animals and colours that represent a family, person or group of people. Get the right thing and yes it can add to your decor.
On a historic level heraldry originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war. It was also placed on seals as marks of identity. From the beginning there was a symbolic and decorative element in many of these devices, but the functional motive predominated. Over time this position has reversed. Modern heraldry is primarily symbolic and decorative and although it is still used on seals and in other ways, it is seldom solely relied upon to express identity.
Thankfully the more serious heraldic print collectors are still alive and well. Early etchings and copper engraved coats of arms from the 18th century are very collectable. Heraldic Achievement's from Baronageium Genealogicum by Joseph Edmondson c1764 is a favourite and when accurately hand coloured in water colour in accordance with the Heraldic codes are some of the best.
Above: An Original Heraldic Achievement from Baronageium Genealogicum by Joseph Edmondson c1764. The Right Honourable Bennet Sherard Earl of Harborough Viscount Sherard & Baron of Harborough. Bennet Sherard, 1st Earl of Harborough (9 October 1677 – 16 October 1732) Created Viscount Sherard in 1718, and Earl of Harborough in 1719 he was a British peer and Member of Parliament. This print is mounted within a custom made frame.
HOW TO IDENTIFY:
The original prints from Baronageium Genealogicum were copper plate engraved on hand laid paper. This kind of paper has a very distinct appearance and is identified by the visible lines seen in the paper when held up to a bright light. You can actually feel the lines and slight roughness when you touch this kind of paper. The original prints dimensions are width 10.75" x height 18”. If you find them coloured its good to check the colouring is correct in accordance with the Heraldic Codes. Most of this information is available online.
You can see more Coats of Arms from Baronageium Genealogicum by Joseph Edmondson c1764 HERE - I have only a few!