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Coat of Arm

European Art, 18th Century, Private Collection
52 x 25 x 65 cm20.5 x 9.8 x 25.6 in

This coat of arms probably belonged to a family of aristocratic descent and considerable power: we can verify this by applying the science that actually interprets the descriptions of coats of arms, heraldry. Firstly, this emblem has a divided field, meaning the shield, the central field, is divided in two by a vertical line, or, in heraldry terms, parted per pale. It seems that the divisions, which can be as many as four and at times even more, are related to the marks left by the swords on knight's shields in the Middle Ages. The entire figure can be fitted into a rectangle, topped by an exuberant composition of highly prominent and symmetrically arranged acanthus leaves. This plant, used earlier in Corinthian capitals during classical times, often featured in Baroque compositions as well. The emblem of a beak helmet is carved out at the centre of the coat of arms, unusually completed by a part of a knight's chest. Once again medieval customs come to our aid, when the knights during tournaments used to hang their shield and helmet fastened by a thong on a wall or a post: reality and the representations on coats of arms were always closely related. Heraldry requires that the coats of arms be described as if they were the shields worn by the knights, therefore the right of the person looking is on the left of the coat of arms and vice versa. Therefore, on the left or sinister field there's an image of an eagle, and once again shown from the front with wings spread out, the curved beak open with its tongue sticking out, feet and claws spread wide and a ruffled tail. In this coat of arms the eagle's open claws hold a six pointed star and a sphere. The figure of the eagle is crossed by a diagonal strip, which means that the shield's sinister partition , the sinister partition, is in this case termed "parted per fess". In the right field there is a lion holding a spear in its paws with three six-pointed stars above it.

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