Arms of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Bourgogne-Franche-Comte

Granted July 12th, 2017

Blazon: Per quarterly I azure semé de lis or a bordure gobony argent and gules, II and III azure biletté and a lion rampant crowned or, armed and langued gules, IV bendy of six or and azure a bordure gules

This is why I’m glad I’m revisiting these! As it turns out, there was an administrative reorganization of France in 2016 – and I did most of the regional French arms in 2014, so some of these arms are going to be brand new! (To me, at least.) Some regions did stay the same, but Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is only about three and a half years old. That being said, the design operates on pretty much the same principle as the name – the first and fourth quarters come from the former arms of Burgundy, and the second and third are the former arms of Franche-Comte.

The Burgundian quarters are, respectively, the arms of the county (later duchy) of Touraine and the House of Burgundy. The arms of Franche-Comté were allegedly adopted by Count Palatine Otto IV in 1280 when he switched his allegiance to France from the Holy Roman Empire. He previously bore gules, an eagle displayed argent, but opted for the azure and or to mimic the French arms.

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Arms of Louis X of France

Louis X

In use 1314 – 1316

Blazon: Azure semé de lis or (France ancien) dimidiated with gules a chain in saltire, cross, and orle or, charged in the center with a pomme (Navarre)

I do want to briefly talk about some variations of the French national arms before we revisit the various regions and major cities. I wanted to touch on this particular coat not just because Louis X has a really excellent epithet (Louis the Stubborn!), but also because it’s a not-very-common example of dimidiation. Dimidiation is often used in the same circumstances as impalement or quartering – in this case, Louis inherited the kingdom of Navarre from his mother in 1305, and that of France from his father in 1314. The distinction there is that while both impalement and quartering keep both sets of original arms intact, dimidiation literally cuts them in half and reforms them into a single coat. Sometimes, like in this example, it works pretty well, and both arms are still easily identifiable. More often, though, dimidiation yields confusing or just plain weird results, so it’s understandable why it’s not used very often. (I’ve seen theories that badly planned dimidiation is where we get griffins, but they’re blatantly wrong; griffins predate heraldry by a good couple of millennia.)

Arms of France ancien

France ancien

In use from at least 1211 until 1376

Blazon: Azure semé de lis or

According to legend, the former (ancien) arms of France originated when Clovis I, first king of the Franks, was baptized. He adopted the lily as his new emblem to symbolize the purity of the Virgin Mary and his new faith. However, despite this legend and its name, the fleur-de-lis (literally, lily flower) doesn’t actually look very much like a lily. Most credible authorities, including Boutell, Dalloway, and numerous French heralds, assert that the depiction is intended as some form of flower, probably an iris, that was later confused with a lily. However, there is a poorly-supported but persistent theory that it is actually a stylized spearhead. While this would explain the bizarre figure of leopard’s heads jessant-de-lis, there isn’t much else to recommend it.

Arms of Ottavio Piccolomini

Piccolomini
Duke of Amalfi 1639-1656 (1599-1656)

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV argent on a cross azure five crescents or (Piccolomini); II and III paly of four i or four palets gules (Aragon), ii barry of eight gules and argent (Hungary ancien), iii azure semé de lis or, a label of four points gules (Anjou ancien), iv argent a cross paté between four crosses or (Jerusalem)

Ottavio inherited the quarters of Aragon, Hungary ancien, Anjou ancien, and Jerusalem from his ancestor Antonio Piccolomini d’Aragona, who married Maria d’Aragona, the illegitimate daughter of Ferdinand I of Naples. Many representations have Ferdinand’s arms in the first and third quarters, as Maria’s lineage was (though illegitimate) more noble than Antonio’s.

Arms of Louis d’Appiani d’Aragon

Louis d'Appiani

(1533-1592)

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV  lozengy argent and gules (Appiani), II and III per quarterly i and iv tierced per pale 1 barry of eight gules and argent (Hungary ancien), 2 azure semé de lis or (France ancien), and 3 argent a cross paté between four crosses or (Jerusalem), ii and iii or four palets gules (Aragon); overall a chief gules a cross argent (Savoy)

“Louis” appears to be Alfonso d’Appiani, brother of Jacopo VI. He seems to have been a military man, possibly serving under Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Arms of the House of Appiani of Aragon

Appiani of Aragon

In use since 1445?

Blazon: Per quarterly I and IV  lozengy argent and gules (Appiani), II and III per quarterly i and iv tierced per pale 1 barry of eight gules and argent (Hungary ancien), 2 azure semé de lis or (France ancien), and 3 argent a cross paté between four crosses or (Jerusalem), ii and iii or four palets gules (Aragon)

The alliance between the Appianis and the house of Aragon began (informally) in 1445, when Emanuele Appiani married Colia de’ Giudici, the illegitimate daughter of King Alfonso V of Naples. His great-grandson Jacopo V also married into the house of Aragon via Marianna of Aragon in 1510, though she died before she could bear any children.

Legendary arms of Joanna of Naples

Joanna of Naples

From The Blazon of Gentrie by Sir John Ferne (1586) p222.

Blazon:  Per pale azure semé de lis or, a label of three points gules (Naples) and barry of eight argent and gules (Hungary ancien).

Unusually, Joanna bears her paternal arms on the dexter side of the shield, which was generally reserved for their husbands’ arms. The sinister side shows the arms of her first husband, Andrew, Duke of Calabria