Spanish Heraldic Style


Davis Spanish Arms The blazon of the arms given in the Spanish Certification de Armas is:

En campo de gules (rojo), una faja, de oro, acompanada en lo alto y en lo bajo, de un grifo, pasante, de oro, linguado y unado de lo mismo. Va timbrado el escudo de Armas de acero brunido, con grilletas y bordura de oro forrado de gules (rojo) sumado de un burelete de oro y gules y este a su vez de un grifo, de oro, enpunado en su diestra, una cruz aguzada y trebolada, de oro. Lambrequines de oro y gules (rojo) DIVISA: "JE NE CHANGERAI PAS D'AVIS" cinta de oro, con letras de sable (negro). Protocolo 11-1984; Follos 193-194

The shape of the shield, originating in Spain during the 12th century, is fairly typical of Spanish heraldry as is the barred, or melee, helm. The griffin crest, however, is atypical. It is more common to find the helmet adorned with ostrich feathers in the tinctures of the mantling in lieu of a crest. Unlike British heraldic practice, Spanish armigers may use a helmet of burnished steel with golden bars and garnished with gold ( a style of helm reserved for Peers in the United Kingdom). Those of the rank of marquise (marques) and above use a barred helm affronte.

Spanish heraldry, in contrast to Scots practice with its strict differencing of arms for cadency, pays little heed to differencing. Depending upon the destination of the arms as stated in the Certification, the arms may descend undifferenced to the legitimate heirs male only or to both the heirs male and female. Women who are not heraldic heiresses can transmit their arms to their offspring.

Grants of arms are issued only under the signature of the Spanish monarch. The Spanish heralds, the Cronista Reys de Armas, are empowered to issue Certifications of Arms, Nobility, and Genealogy.
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Copyright 2001, Thomas Pinkney Davis

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