These pictures were taken at The Cloisters Museum, the (other) medieval wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Originally I intended the project as a catalogue of all the heraldry at the Cloisters for purposes of art history research, but I think the page serves better as a primer on heraldic display. This is not a comprehensive catalog of all heraldry found at the Cloisters, but the variety of ways that heraldry is put on "stuff" is fascinating.
Heraldry, defined: Heraldry is conventionally defined as personal insignia that are hereditary. However, as heraldry became popular throught Europe, heraldic motifs also became popular and weren't always representative of a particular person. I have recorded here anything that looked heraldic, the "stuff you find on shields." While most of the heraldry here probably belonged to a particular person, it is possible that some of the arms seen here may be purely decorative.
A note about color: Shooting in low light, without a flash, and sometimes behind glass proved to be quite a challenge. Many of the images are digitally color-corrected when I felt enhanced color contrast would allow for easier viewing. Do not assume colors are "true" when examining tinctures.
Click on a small picture to get the larger image.
|Stained Glass||Metal Tableware|
|France, late 13th or early 14th century. Arms of 13th century abbots.|
|Spain 1300-1350, Ermengol X. From sarcophagi of man with dog at feet.|
|Spain mid 14th century. Details of sarcophagi. These are photos of the side of the sarcophagi, his headpiece, the trim on his tunic, and the decoration on his pillow.|
|Spain, mid 15th century . From a stone altar.|
|Provenance & date not posted. Stone doorway.|
|Provenance not posted, 12th century. Stone window frame.|
|Provenance & date not posted. Stone casket.|
|French, late 15th century. Marble column capitals.|
|German, 1518. Stained glass. Note the very Germanic multi-crest in the last picture.|
|German mid 1400's. Stained glass. The sigils are probably German Hausmarken.|
|German early-mid 1500's. Stained glass roundels with heraldy. The sigils are probably German Hausmarken.|
|Flanders/Ghent, 1505-1506. Stained glass.|
|German, 14th century. A coffer.|
|England, 1270. An alb. Additional photos of this piece can be found here (approx. 2/3 down the page).|
|Spain, 1430. A cope (cloak).
Additional photos of this piece can be found here (approx. 1/2 down the page).
|German, late 14th century. Cross-stitch altar frontal.
Additional photos of this piece can be found here (approx. 1/3 down the page).
|Low Countries, ca. 1400. Tapestry.|
|Netherlands, late 15th century. Tapestry for English partrons. The ermine crosses are actually a faded "Gules, four lozenges ermine".|
|Two drinking vessels.
Pictures 1 and 2: Spain, early 15th century.
Pictures 3 and 4: Germany, mid-15th century, Germany. Possibly the arms of the mayor of Inglostment.
Pictures 1 and 2: 1325-1350, Germany or Bohemia, possibly Jewish. Silver cup or bowl.
Pictures 3 and 4: German/Lowlands, mid 14th century. Silver chalice.
|Spain, mid-late 1400's. Dishes.|
|Spanish, 1430's. Dishes.
Picture 1: Platter from Navarre.
Pictures 2 and 3: Bowl with the arms of the Dazzi family of Florence
Photos taken by Sabine Berard in December 2006. "Putting my nose to the glass so you don't have to."
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