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Heraldic Crests: A Pictorial Archive of 4,424 Designs for Artists and Craftspeople [Paperback]

James Fairbairn
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 14 1993 Dover Pictorial Archive
Rich selection of royalty-free motifs from famous British reference. Striking, varied designs include lions, tigers, wreaths, falcons, rosettes, human figures, mythical creatures, crowns, and much more.

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Since its first publication in 1859, Fairbairn’s Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland has been a recognized reference in heraldry, an indispensable adjunct to every library, the standard authority for business and trade purposes. Widely used by British jewelers and seal engravers, it has been extensively revised and updated over the years to maintain its reputation as one of the most authoritative and complete collections of crests and mottoes available in Britain.
This comprehensive collection reproduces all 314 plates from "Fairbairn"—over 4,000 designs in all—offering artists and craftspeople an immediately usable resource of authentic, time-honored heraldic motifs. Among the designs are many and varied representations of human figures, mythical beings, soldiers, stages, falcons, dogs, unicorns, griffins, and other mythological creatures, lions rampant, warriors, farmers, hands, flowers, rosettes, crowns, wreaths, and many other striking images.
Now available in this inexpensive resource, these imaginative, often unusual designs will lend aristocratic appeal and strong visual interest to book and magazine illustrations, advertisements, newsletters, and a host of other graphic projects.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Heraldry on its Best... and Worst Oct. 9 2000
Format:Paperback
A set of over 4,000 crest designs, but what a disappointment! The true heraldic craftsmen drew their inspiration from true heraldic sources, i.e. the Middle Ages. After 1600 or so heraldry went into a steep decline, culminating in the truly awful Victorian concept of depicting the 'real' thing, as opposed to the brutal and wonderful power of the symbolic art of earlier craftsmen. Thus we're stuck with 'real' lions and dragons and any kind of object, complete with shadowing. Well, the book was published in 1859, so I should have known better.... If you're interested in Victorian heraldry, it's a wonderful book. If you're interested in real heraldry it's a waste of money. Try the compilations of Sir Anthony Wagner instead. Now t h a t is true heraldic power.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for designing your coat of arms Oct. 27 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
No text or explanations of the different symbols in this book. If you're looking for a resource to get ideas for your coat of arms, then this is what you want. Very comprehensive array of pictures. I scanned the pictures I needed, imported them into Photoshop and voila! A great looking coat of arms!
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Enlarged versions of the black-and-white heraldic designs common to most coats of arms and crests. Perfect for scanning and easily adaptable by experienced graphic designers. Originally published in smaller versions in Fairbairn's Book of Crests.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book includes hundreds of components of potential crest designs shown in black and white on plates. It does not include any family names, family crests, or or any type of index to the images included in the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Heraldry on its Best... and Worst Oct. 9 2000
By J. Flaton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A set of over 4,000 crest designs, but what a disappointment! The true heraldic craftsmen drew their inspiration from true heraldic sources, i.e. the Middle Ages. After 1600 or so heraldry went into a steep decline, culminating in the truly awful Victorian concept of depicting the 'real' thing, as opposed to the brutal and wonderful power of the symbolic art of earlier craftsmen. Thus we're stuck with 'real' lions and dragons and any kind of object, complete with shadowing. Well, the book was published in 1859, so I should have known better.... If you're interested in Victorian heraldry, it's a wonderful book. If you're interested in real heraldry it's a waste of money. Try the compilations of Sir Anthony Wagner instead. Now t h a t is true heraldic power.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good collection of high resolution, black-and-white images. March 20 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Enlarged versions of the black-and-white heraldic designs common to most coats of arms and crests. Perfect for scanning and easily adaptable by experienced graphic designers. Originally published in smaller versions in Fairbairn's Book of Crests.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for Heraldic Reference Aug. 22 2005
By Kyrila K. Scully - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While this volume provides thousands of clip art purporting to be heraldic Crests, you will not find any reference to identify which name the Crests are registered to. You will not find any reference to what the charge in the Crest means, nor will you find reference to the colors that the charges should be. What you will find are generic images resembling heraldic charges in black and white. Please note that those who are expert in heraldic Coats of Arms and Crests (and there is a distinct difference if you do not know), or those interested in improving their knowledge of them, will be deeply disappointed in this book, if you are looking for reference material. Coats of Arms are frequently and mistakenly referred to as Crests. Coats of Arms are the shields carried by knights, cavaliers, etc. during the Medieval Age, which were determined by the monarch of the country for which the knight served. To use the images of this book to put together a unique Coat of Arms for one's own family is to do so without any thought to the meaning of the charges. Each charge and each color determines a virtue recognized and honored by the monarch in the presentation of the Arms, while Crests (always displayed above the knight's helmet) are colors and charges chosen by the patriarch of the family to represent the virtues he wished to preserve in the family line. Most Western European names have coats of arms already registered with the College of Arms of that nation to represent their families and responsible dealers of these can provide them - this book will not help anyone find their own coat of arms or any explanation of their meaning.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for designing your coat of arms Oct. 27 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
No text or explanations of the different symbols in this book. If you're looking for a resource to get ideas for your coat of arms, then this is what you want. Very comprehensive array of pictures. I scanned the pictures I needed, imported them into Photoshop and voila! A great looking coat of arms!
2.0 out of 5 stars Without Blazon or Reference March 13 2006
By Arthur - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Moderately useful, but all of the images are Victorian era lithograph in style, and have lost a lot of whatever flair they might have had. Color was not expected, but without blazon (heraldic description) or any other reference other than plate number, only the images are of any use. There is no table of contents, and although the images are grouped according to their central character (lion, tree, etc.), that is the extent of it. There is some mention of another archive, but not in a complete context. Hunting for it may be more of a chore than throwing your hands up and finding something else. I'm not even going to try. Also, since the images are in roughly the same style, an estimate of time period or place from one's own judgement of history is nearly impossible.

Still, there are a lot of images, and by themselves are inspirational to some extent.

Overall, not a complete waste, but not worth it, either.
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