This item was on the 07-2010 LoAR
6: Murienne l'aloiere - New Device
OSCAR finds the name registered exactly as it appears in April of 2010, via Atlantia
Gules, three furisons sable.
The submitter's name appeared on Atlantia's Letter of Intent for December, 2009.
As submitted, the device is in violation of the section of the Society's rules which require that "The field must have good contrast with every charge placed directly on it and with charges placed overall."
The submitter requests that this design, which incorporates three sable non-ordinary charges on a gules field, be considered as a "documented exception" to that requirement under the section of the rules which states that "a proposed exceptional armorial design element may be documented as characteristic of a specific regional armorial style."
Under this rubric, current policy requires that the submitted armory may be registered provided that three very specific conditions are met. As any request for a "regional style" exemption tends to get complex fairly quickly, we will attempt to render the argument a bit more comprehensible by taking each of those conditions separately.
The submitter explicitly requests an exception to the other sections of Part VIII (Compatible Armorial Style) on the grounds that the submitted armory exemplifies a specific regional style.
The submitter, verbally and in writing through her submitting herald, has specifically requested a "regional style" variance to the Society's contrast requirements.
These requirements are outlined in Part VIII of the Rules for Submission so are specifically eligible for a "documented exception". In point of fact, this is conceptually unexceptional as the original registration of a vert trimount on an azure field which set the ground rules for the current approach to "regional style" exceptions as well as a majority of the "regional style" exceptions granted in the years since have been exceptions to the contrast rules.
The submitter and her herald indicated that they believe that a pattern of sable charges on a gules field is documented from German heraldry which seemed to most commenters an adequately specific "regional armorial style" for the purposes of this requirement.
It should perhaps be noted that one commenter with a particular interest in the armory of the German-speaking world as well as eastern Europe noted that a number of the examples originally used in support of the submission "were from Silesia and Austria, which altho' they are German-speaking, are only partially in the German heraldic area". In support of this argument, he provided an article entitled "The Heraldic Provinces of Europe" by Christopher von Warnstedt (The Coat of Arms XI ) which notes four primary heraldic "provinces": a "German-Nordic" province which includes Germany, the Scandinavian countries, the Baltic states and north and central Switzerland, a "French-British" province that included north and middle France and the British Isles, a "Latin" province that includes the south of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, and an "Eastern European Province" which includes Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Russia and Rumania. In addition to this von Warnstedt noted "Border Districts" like Flanders, Bohemia-Moravia, Silesia, etc.
This article is actually very useful for our purposes as von Warnstedt notes that "it might be said that the heraldic system reached its most perfect form --- if one prefers its greatest exaggerations --- within the French-British province (II) and the border district of Flanders-Brabant-Holland." As this bias rather closely matches those of our traditional reliance on Anglo-Norman armorial traditions, his observations on the stylistic traditions of period Europe are rather useful in evaluating period style.
And, in point of fact, we feel that his observations support our interpretation that a broader view of the German heraldic sphere is reasonable in terms of an appeal to a specific regional style. Not only does he include the Scandinavian countries, the Baltic states and north and central Switzerland in addition to Germany in the "German-Nordic" province, but he also specifically states that Silesia mainly belongs to that province and notes that "the East European coats of arms which appear have often been altered in the German fashion".
Moreover, there appears to have been a rather strong tradition in Society armory of defining armorial regions in the context of "regional style" variations in a broader context (e.g., Iberian armory, German armory) rather than a narrower sphere (e.g., armory from German-speaking Switzerland, Silesian armory), armorial regions that are often defined as much by period or near-period sources available as by other conventions. In other words, there has been a strong tendency to consider all armory appearing in the seventeenth-century Siebmacher Wappenbuch and similar works as coming from a single, reasonably coherent regional style that we tend to refer to generically as "German".
Documentation is adduced to show that exceptional design element was not uncommon in the regional style in question.
Examples of similarly complex non-ordinary charges in sable on a gules field abound in German armory. To take only a few readily available examples:
Von Kreidelwitz ("Gules, a stag's head sable.") from Plate 50 of Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch published in 1605 (http://www.wappenbuch.de/pages/wappen_50_Siebmacher.htm).
Die Czechowski ("Gules a ragged staff sable ensigned of a cross Or.") from Plate 51 of Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch published in 1605 (http://www.wappenbuch.de/pages/wappen_51_Siebmacher.htm).
Die Tscheterwitz ("Gules, A Moor's head sable.") from Plate 52 of Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch published in 1605 (http://www.wappenbuch.de/pages/wappen_52_Siebmacher.htm).
Die Stossel ("Gules, A Moor's head countorny sable.") from Plate 72 of Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch published in 1605 (http://www.wappenbuch.de/pages/wappen_72_Siebmacher.htm).
Die Holtznowsker ("Gules, a wing sable terminating in a bird's foot Or.") from Plate 76 of Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch published in 1605 (http://www.wappenbuch.de/pages/wappen_76_Siebmacher.htm).
On side 11v of a manuscript catalogued and digitized by the Bavarian State Library under the name Wappen deutscher Geschlechter, which contains the bound manuscript BSB Hss. Cod.icon. 311, dated to the fourth quarter of the fifteenth century and believed to derive from the vicinity of Augsburg, one can find a coat which shows "Gules, a hat sable brimmed Or." (http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00001650/image_26).
Sable on gules and gules on sable can even be found in a counterchange! On side 34r of a manuscript catalogued and digitized by the Bavarian State Library under the name Tirol, Anton: Wappenbuch , which contains the bound manuscript BSB Hss. Cod.icon. 310, dated to the end of the fifteenth century and believed to derive from southern Germany, one can find a coat which shows "Per pale gules and sable, a wagon wheel counterchanged." (http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00001649/image_73). Note that the precise values for the tinctures involved guarantee that this is not a case where original argent metallics have darkened to an apparent sable as has been known to happen in certain heraldic manuscripts!
Since Laurel precedent on "regional style" has tended to be strongly conservative in determining when examples of armory from a particular armorial tradition are similarly simple or complex as compared to a submitted item, it seemed to us advisable to offer as well examples where the complexity of a design goes beyond a single primary charge to involve two or three predominantly or entirely sable charges on a gules field.
Von Geffen ("Gules, in fess two horns sable.") from Plate 52 of Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch published in 1605 (http://www.wappenbuch.de/pages/wappen_52_Siebmacher.htm).
The arms of the poet Wolfram von Eschenbach, as shown on side 149v of the Manesse Codex (online at http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0294) have often been blazoned as "Gules, two cleavers addorsed sable." (see, for example, Blagg's article "Shields and Escutcheons in the Manesse Codex" online at http://coblaith.net/Heraldry/Manesse/shieldstable2.html).
The arms of Johann von Ringgenberg, as shown on side 149v of the Manesse Codex (online at http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0376) can be blazoned as "Gules, in pale a D-shaped buckle tongue to chief and a tri-mount couped sable." (see, for example, Blagg's article "Shields and Escutcheons in the Manesse Codex" online at http://coblaith.net/Heraldry/Manesse/shieldstable2.html).
Die Aver von Tobel ("Gules, in pale three horns fesswise reversed sable.") from Plate 80 of Johann Siebmacher's Wappenbuch published in 1605 (http://www.wappenbuch.de/pages/wappen_80_Siebmacher.htm).
On side 97v of a manuscript catalogued and digitized by the Bavarian State Library under the name Tirol, Anton: Wappenbuch , which contains the bound manuscript BSB Hss. Cod.icon. 310, dated to the end of the fifteenth century and believed to derive from southern Germany, one can find a coat which shows "Per fess gules and argent, three mullets of six points counterchanged sable and gules." (http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00001649/image_200). (Note that, while the field is an evenly divided tincture, two of the three mullets are sable on a gules field and the overall arrangement of the charges is two and one as in the submitted device.)
On side 74r of a manuscript catalogued and digitized by the Bavarian State Library under the name Wappenbuch - BSB Cod.icon. 392 d, which contains the bound manuscript BSB Hss. Cod.icon. 392d, dated to the first half of the sixteenth century and believed to derive from southern Germany, one can find a coat which shows "Gules, three Moor's heads contourny sable, heads bound with scarves argent." (http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00018706/image_215).
Documentation is adduced to show that all elements of the submitted armory can be found in the regional style in question.
The specific sable on gules issue for which the submitter petitions an exception has been addressed above.
Internal commentary was able to provide support for the appearance of the furison (in modern German blazon appearing as Feuerstahl) within the German sphere of influence:
The arms of Grassauer, which can be blazoned "Gules, a furison argent." appear clearly in the Zurich Roll on Strip II Back Page 8 which can be found reproduced in full at http://www.silverdragon.org/HERALDRY/ZurichRolls/zroadt2r.htm. The arms also appear in a detail clip on the Viking Answer Lady website at http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ZurichRoll. (The original of the Zurich Roll is generally dated by internal evidence to the middle of the fourteenth century, making it one of the earliest Continental rolls of arms, and the copy from which the digitized images are derived appears to date from the sixteenth century.)
On side 44v of a manuscript catalogued and digitized by the Bavarian State Library under the name Wappen deutscher Geschlechter, which contains the bound manuscript BSB Hss. Cod.icon. 311, dated to the fourth quarter of the fifteenth century and believed to derive from the vicinity of Augsburg, one can find a coat which shows "Or, a furison sable." (http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00001650/image_92).
On side 26r of a manuscript likewise catalogued and digitized by the Bavarian State Library under the name Sammelband mehrerer Wappenbücher, which contains the bound manuscript BSB Cod.icon. 391, dated to around 1530 and believed to derive from the vicinity of Augsburg, one can find a coat which shows "Or, a cross between four furisons azure." (http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/bsb00007681/image_53).
Most telling, however, in documenting the use of the furison or Feuerstahl in period German armory is an article by Ottfried Neubecker entitled "Die Bedeutung von Feuerstahl und Feuerstein, den Gliedern das Kette des Ordens vom goldenen Vlies" in Volume II of Estudios genealógicos, heráldicos y nobiliarios en honor de Vicente de Cadenas y Vicent (pp. 73ff., which are available on line at
[ books.google.com ] ). There he notes that the charge appears in the armory of a family In der alten Münze or de Moneta at Strassburg as early as 1334 and possibly as early as 1266 (pp. 74-75). From 1334 as well he notes the arms of Grassauer cited above as well as those of Grebel and Henning von Wodenswegen as containing the charge (p.75). On the same page he notes several families who bore the charge in canting arms, including a German family Stahl who bore "Or, a furison sable.", a Tirolian-Bavarian family Schurff who bore "Azure, a furison Or." and a family by the name of Schurfeisen who bore "Gules, a furison argent.". Neubecker also notes Wilhelm Schurg, an official of the court of the emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519), who used a furison in both his arms and his crest.
Not to belabor the point, we will cite only a few more specifically dated examples of armory bearing a furison cited by Neubecker from the German sphere of influence: Johann Schurf or Schurpf from Constance in 1414 who bore "Argent, a sable furison."(p. 76), Konrad Groppenstein from Schöneck 1360-1377 who bore "Gules, a furison argent.") and Konrad Herr in 1584 who bore "Sable, a furison Or."
Taken together, we feel that this evidence not only supports the view that the furison or Feuerstahl occurred in German armory, but may even have been not uncommon for canting arms, given the variety of tincture combinations in which we have found it occurring.