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The Oxford Guide to Heraldry: Urbanization in the Third World [Hardcover]

Thomas Woodcock , John Martin Robinson

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Book Description

Nov. 24 1988
Beautifully illustrated with 32 full-color plates and over one hundred halftones and line drawings, The Oxford Guide to Heraldry offers a fascinating tour of the heart of medieval pagentry. The first guide to heraldry written by Officers of Arms with full access to the College of Arms Library--which boasts the finest collection of heraldic manuscripts in the world--this colorful volume is both an authoritative, completely up-to-date reference for experts and an excellent introduction for beginners, covering the origins of heraldry, the composition of arms and their visual appearance, the use of arms as decoration, and much more.
The authors explain how coats of arms differed from country to country, with informative sections on France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other European nations, plus a complete chapter devoted to heraldry in America. They discuss the traditional tinctures (colors) used--two metals, five colors, and two furs--and reveal that the colors are continually updated (for instance, after World War II, the color Bleu Celeste was added to honor the Royal Air Force). The book also outlines the virtues associated with the colors (red or "gules" signified magnanimity, black or "sable" prudence), the types of shield division (such as pale, fess, bend sinister, and chevron), the symbolism of animals (the owl signified a lazy man, the bear a strong but unwise warrior), and countless other aspects of this ancient art. This encyclopedic resource also includes an appendix on the Royal Arms of Great Britain, a glossary of heraldic terms, and a list of English and Scottish Kings of Arms.
Heraldry is many things: a fascinating art, a system of symbols denoting prominent families and institutions, a beautiful display of pageantry, an important part of the historical record. The most authoritative guide to heraldry available, this lavishly illustrated volume is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in genealogy, history, chivalry, or the decorative arts.

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About the Author

About the Authors:

Thomas Woodcock is the Somerset Herald. John Martin Robinson is Fitzalan Pursuivant Extraordinary and the author of The Dukes of Norfolk.

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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best recent introduction Aug. 10 2001
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
An excellent introduction to the field by the Somerset Herald. Chapters cover the origins and evolution of the herald's art, the marshalling of arms, the technical aspects of blazoning, and even the proper decorative use of heraldry. The emphasis, naturally, is on Britain, but Europe and the United States are included as well. Very nicely illustrated, too, with a thick section of color plates. And a nice gift book, too.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, scholarly review of the history of heraldry. March 20 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a well-researched, comprehensive analysis of the history of heraldry in both England and Europe. It features several full-color as well as grayscale plates illustrating ancient coats of arms and the evolution of this art to the modern day. A glossary with illustrations is included in the appendix, and it is well-indexed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Succinct, Authoritative, & Very Informative Dec 30 2008
By Guerrilla Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Review of "The Oxford Guide to Heraldry" by Thomas Woodcock and John Robinson.

At only 233 pages this tome is not large but the quality of production is clearly evident. With heavy acid free paper and superb color and black and white plates the book actually weighs twice as much as inferior quality books of the same size and pages.

The content of the book is survey in nature and explains the Origins of Heraldry; European Heraldry; Grantees of English Arms; The Shield of Arms; Crests; Supporters, Badges, and 'Mottoes'; Marshalling of Arms; Heraldric Authority in Great Britain; American Heraldry; & The Use of Heraldry as Decoration.

A comprehensive index and bibliography round out this fine work. If you are interested in heraldry and need a very good primer, or if you are a researcher and need an authoritative reference then I would recommend this text as an excellent resource.

Five stars without reservation.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oxford Guide May 16 2012
By Doug Welsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent book on a complex art... science... no, it's an art, AND a science! Easy to read, and concise. Well worth the money.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Oxford Guide to Heraldry March 9 2014
By Patricia Patscheck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great book with great illustrations and clarifications of the different families coat of arms and lots of color pictures.

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