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  1. #1
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    Is this Heraldic?

    Greetings,

    Please forgive my rendering of this carving. This design was carved onto an oak panel of an old chest. It's an odd looking creature and although it looks like it may have some British characteristics it also seems like it has an Asian influence. Although, the heraldic dolphin to my eye looks a bit Asian as well. Is this just some made-up design or is it a symbol used in medieval times? Thanks for any info.

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x276/Dram202/20130929_124039_zpsa4fe6316.jpg
    Last edited by Dram; 29th September 13 at 10:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    And to clarify, I drew (rather poorly) the image as it appears on an oak panel.

  3. #3
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    In theory, Dram, everything can be a charge, but in practice, I would say no in this instance. It looks like no heraldic creature, I have ever seen.

    Sorry.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for you response Chas. I haven't seen anything like it before either...rather ugly creature. I wonder if it is simply made up? When the carved chest arrives I'll have to actually take a picture of the panel and post again. I assume giving the other style of carving which is floral and that the chest is made of Oak that it is either English or American in origin however, I do wonder what inspired the maker to carve this unusual creature into the chest. Maybe it's a reproduction of some earlier work in the Victorian era.

  5. #5
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    Well, of course, all the heraldic mythical beasts were made up by somebody. If someone puts it on a shield or in a crest, then it becomes heraldic. Until then, it is just an idea waiting for its chance.

  6. #6
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    That's not one I have ever seen. Though, I am of limited exposure in terms of source material. I think it may just be one of those random beasties that shows up in medieval designs from time to time. An actual picture would be helpful though.
    Keep your rings charged, pleats in the back, and stay geeky!
    https://kiltedlantern.wixsite.com/kiltedlantern

  7. #7
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    Well, I finally received my oak chest. This is supposed to be of English make, but could have been made anywhere. Here is the panel with the weird looking beast.

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x...ps5bd536ea.jpg

  8. #8
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    I have the feeling that this was added into the chest. Possibly by someone who did not know heraldicly what they were doing.

    I am not saying that it is a bad carving, just that as far as heraldry is concerned, it makes no sense. On the left is the back end of some aquatic animal (tail, belly and dorsal fins), but it does not seem to be connected to the head of the beast.

    The lower claws have the bulbous pads that are typically Eastern (but were later copied for 'claw and ball' feet) - so they could be either one.

    The lower jaw is very European fish like, but the fins behind the mouth are pure Chinese. Which brings us to the mouth. I have never seen one that is round like that. Likewise the teeth, they should be sharp and pointy (they are supposed to look frightening). I have never seen a tongue that looks like that. It looks like the spike at the top of railings.

    Then, above the head, two railing spikes again with the addition of a smooth spike (a la unicorn). They are not heraldic spikes.

    I think that the chest was made by a cabinetmaker, quite possibly English, and that the carvings (shield and frieze) were added later by a local (non-European) craftsman who had seen the design, but did not know what he was seeing.

    It was quite popular at one time for diplomats to have their furniture 'embellished' on their overseas postings. My mother has a German made table cabinet that had an Indian Bhow Tree carved on the front and a Moroccan frieze praising Allah running round the top.



  9. The Following User Says 'Aye' to Chas For This Useful Post:


  10. #9
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    Thanks Chas. Too bad it's such an ugly beast...however, the rest of the chest is in a more appealing traditional style and the beast adds a talking point if you will.

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