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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443
Kaplan's birds

Having said my piece about birds, I also want to present the other side, if "other" is the right word: what Kaplan says about these four birds in his Encyclopedia, as regards their application as heraldic devices in the CY, PMB, and decks part of the PMB family. I am grinding no ax here, just reporting. He seems accurate as far as he goes, just sticking to heraldry and not going into its larger symbolic ramifications. I will not give illustrations of the CY cards, as Huck has already posted most of the relevant details as well as how to get to the cards on the Web.

In the index to his Vol. 2, I see no references for Turtledove, one for Phoenix, a few for Eagle, many for Dove.

The Eagle is simple: "In 1395, Giangaleazzo Visconti purchased from Emperor Wenceslaus of Germany the hereditary title of Duke of Milan and adopted the imperial eagle as part of his ducal coat of arms" (p. 18). Ignoring the fact that Wenceslaus was never officially Emperor, due to the Schism, that is fairly straightforward. You have already posted that emblem.

The other reference is when Francesco Sforza took over Milan. He "took on the arms of the Visconti, the viper quartered with the imperial eagle--although, as a Sforza, he did not receive his investiture as duke of Milan from the Holy Roman Emperor. The duchy was to have passed down the Visconti line" (p. 98). A significant non-heraldic reference is the eagle as one of the four living creatures accompanying Petrarch's Triumph of Eternity (p. 146).

For the Phoenix, Kaplan gives the King of Staves in the Lombardy I tarrochi: "Below his waist belt is the heraldic device of a nested bird, probably a pelican, phoenix or dove" (p. 18). I have already discussed this image and its PMB equivalent in the previous post.

In my previous post I left out the quote from Kaplan about the PMB King of Staves. I give it here: “The decoration on the front of his robe depicts the Visconti heraldic device of a bird or dove with flaming rays–derived from Emperor Wenceslaus in 1395. Below his belt is a nest—also a Visconti heraldic device” (p. 76).

For the Dove, we have the reference just quoted from Vol. 2 and many more. On p. 24 we learn that a 1923 engraving of the Female Knight of Coins "wears a long cape decorated with the Visconti dove in profile surrounded by a sunburst above a ribbon bearing the motto A bon droyt." He goes on to say that this engraving may be simply an embellishment of the Cary-Yale Female Knight of Coins, with a viper instead of a sunburst on the coin.

On p. 26 we at last get to the CY Chariot. Of the female figure, Kaplan says, "In her right hand is a disc decorated with the Visconti emblem of a dove in profile above a thin ribbon. Although the ribbon shown here is worn, other representations of the Visconti dove suggest that originally the ribbon bore the legend A bon droyt." You have that.

On p. 34, Kaplan speaks of the CY Coin courts. The King wears "the heraldic device on his garment of a dove surrounded by sunbursts." The Queen “wears a regal gown decorated with the Visconti dove device seen on the king’s card...She touches a large coin held by an assisant who wears a blue cape bearing the Visconti motto A bon droyt. The Visconti dove is also in the center of the coin.” Next, the Male Knight’s horse’s caparison “is decorated with the Visconti device of a dove and another dove appears onthe male knight’s chest.” As for the Female Page, her “long gown depicts the Visconti dove.” You have all those, I assume.

On p. 40 we have the male page of Coins, with his "garment decorated with the heraldic dove in profile above a ribbon and surrounded by sunbursts." You have that.

On p. 69 we learn about Valentina, Giangaleazzo's only daughter, leaving Milan in June of 1388, to meet and join her husband Louis of Valois. "As part of her trouseau, Valentina brought to France a necklace of gold with the heraldic emblem of a white dove in a golden sunburst above a ribbon scroll that contained the motto, A bon droyt.

Here is one more example of the Visconti heraldic dove from “The Coronation of Giangaleazzo,” a miniature by Anovelo da Imbonate (vol 2, p. 73).

So now I go on with Huck to Monza, and then the posts that follow. This is quite a trip!
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