A Taste of Yountville

Taste of Yountville - On the Road
On the Road to Yountville

My husband, Michael, had been bugging me for the last couple of years to go to Taste of Yountville, which is a food and wine tasting event in the town of Yountville in the Napa Valley. We are very fortunate to live about 35 minutes from Yountville, but it was cold and drizzly; I was hesitant.

“We never go anywhere in the rain,” said my adventurous husband. Taking that as a personal challenge, I agreed to go.

Despite the gray dampness, we were surrounded by lush, beautiful greenery. The mustard seed filled in the rows of grapevines with their sunny yellowness. Thick white clouds hung low along the valley mountaintops. I made some desperate attempts at grabbing pictures of the scenery along the road as we whizzed by.

Taste of Yountville - Road Side Views
More Road Side Views

For those of you who may not be familiar with Yountville, it’s a dining mecca. Pete Fish, in a 2008 issue of Sunset magazine said that Yountville “boasts more Michelin stars per capita than any place on earth.” It’s home to the world famous restaurant, The French Laundry (which I will never be able to afford), as well as many other fabulous restaurants such as Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, Bottega, Redd, Hurley’s, and Ad Hoc, among others. We’ve eaten at a few of these on special occasions and have always been overwhelmed by the incredible food. So a wine and food tasting along the main boulevard sounded like a wonderful thing . . . which it was, despite the wet weather.

Taste of Yountville - Rock Mushroom Garden
Rock Mushroom Garden by Rich Botto

We got into town and found a parking spot on Mulberry, right off of Washington — the main street in town. We walked to the Community Center, passing the Mushroom Garden along the way. The Mushroom Garden is part of Yountville’s Art Walk. Michael and I each bought a tasting passport – $25 for a wine glass and ten tickets. There were lots of tables under canopies along the street where we could trade our tickets for half glasses of wine and little bites of food.

Taste of Yountville - Flowers in Front of V Marketplace
Primroses and Iceland Poppies in Front of the V Marketplace

Taste of Yountville - Tulips at the Vintage Inn
Tulips in Front of the Vintage Inn

Taste of Yountville - The Vintage Inn
The Vintage Inn

There were several gardens in full bloom along the street like the ones in front of the V Marketplace and the Vintage Inn. But I have to say, it was a bit tough walking down the street or trying to sidle up to a winery table with all the open umbrellas around. I almost got impaled on a couple of occasions.

Taste of Yountville - Umbrellas in the Rain
Trying to Stay Dry

We had a little map about the size of a big postcard that listed all the kiosks and who was sponsoring them. As you went along, there were five stations where we could get our passports stamped, and then turn the card in for a chance to win prizes donated by restaurants and wineries around the area. This was a great idea because in our desire to win some fabulous prizes, we were drawn out of the busy part of town towards the outskirts, where neither Michael or I had been before.

Taste of Yountville - French Laundry Garden
The French Laundry Garden

Taste of Yountville - French Laundry Garden
The French Laundry Garden

Taste of Yountville - French Laundry Garden
The French Laundry Garden

Taste of Yountville - French Laundry Garden
The French Laundry Garden

Our first stop “outside” of this little town was the French Laundry garden. This is where the world famous restaurant grows the herbs, greens, and other fresh vegetables that they use in their restaurant. Of course I had heard about the French Laundry — outrageous (but worth it) prices, impossible to get reservations, other-worldly cuisine — but despite having visited Yountville many times, I never knew exactly where the building was.

I took a picture of this lovely old building across the street from the garden, and didn’t realize until I asked our waiter during lunch at Hurley’s, that this is the famous French Laundry restaurant.

Taste of Yountville - The French Laundry
The French Laundry Restaurant

According to Alexis’s Blog, the gardens across the street take up two acres and have a crew of five full-time gardeners. There are fifty-three vegetable patches, twenty-five varieties of tomatoes, and a rotating assortment of artichokes, pumpkins, peppers, zucchini, and much, much more! The produce supplies not only French Laundry, but also Bouchon and Ad Hoc. There are also a chicken coop and greenhouse. They were giving tours of the gardens, but we decided to keep heading up the road. Maybe next time . . .

Taste of Yountville - Horse Sculpture
Rex by Jack Chandler

Taste of Yountville - Hopper Creek
Hopper Creek

Just beyond the gardens was this twisted metal art sculpture or a horse, and across the street from that was the churning Hopper Creek. The rain was coming down fairly hard, and despite our best efforts to stay dry, we were both getting pretty wet. Not to mention by hood kept falling down in front of my eyes and the furry hood-edge was dripping with water, which made my attempts at photography a bit challenging.

Taste of Yountville - Old Bicycle in Front of Maisonry
Old Bicycle in Front of Maisonry

Taste of Yountville - Fish Goddess Small
Fish Goddess-Small – Bronze Sculpture by Guiseppe Palumbo

Taste of Yountville - Fish Goddess
Another View of the Fish Goddess

We came upon a cute stone building, thinking it could be the French Laundry, but instead it turned out to be a winery/art shop called MA(i)SONRY. We were first attracted to the rusty old bicycle in the front, but then a wonderful bronze sculpture in the garden patio behind the building caught my eye. We stowed our umbrella, tried to shake off the water drops, and ventured inside. Michael began to wander while I went out back to get a closer look at the wonderful Fish Goddess. Inside the two-story building it was full of people talking and tasting wine and obviously having a great time. I felt like we had stepped into a private party.

Taste of Yountville - Red Market
Little Red Market

It was two o’clock, and although we had nibbled on some delectables along our walk, we were still feeling like it was time to dry off, get warm, and eat something a little more substantial. We tried to get a seat at Redd Restaurant (which I had never heard of before but which is apparently another five star eatery) at the North Block Hotel, but the wait was too long, so we decided to head back into the heart of town and try and find a place to eat there.

Taste of Yountville - Park
Town Park Where Weber, Washington, and Humboldt Intersect

Taste of Yountville - Honorary Firefighters Sculpture
Honorary Firefighters Sculpture by L. C. Shank

The wait was over an hour for the first two places we tried, but then we walked into Hurley’s and were seated right away. What a relief! It felt good to sit down and take off our wet jackets and get warmed up a little. I did just that with a tasty Bloody Mary and a plate of delicious little skewers of meat and hummus. Michael had some buffalo short ribs. This is when we asked the waiter where the French Laundry was, and as soon as he started describing it, we knew it was the old brick building we had seen right across the street from the gardens.

Taste of Yountville - Behind Bottega Restaurant
Wisteria Vine Behind Bottega’s

Our second to last stop was chef Michael Chiarello’s fun cooking/food/ accessories store, NapaStyle. During our tasting, I’d gotten a sample of some Truffle Oil Potato chips, and I was there to buy a bag . . . or two. They are made fresh each day and are insanely addicting. Right across is Chiarello’s restaurant, Bottega. We had eaten there a few months before with some friends and had a wonderful meal.

Taste of Yountville - Carl Ciliax
Artist Carl Ciliax

Taste of Yountville - Carl Ciliax
Carl Ciliax at Work

Last stop on the way back to the car was to walk through the Yountville Community Center to look at an exhibit by local artists. Bronze sculptor Carl Ciliax was gracious enough to allow me to take a couple of pictures of him working. His sculptures are amazing!

We were almost done with Taste of Yountville, but Michael and I still had two tickets each left to use. So we both got a delicious cookie and headed back to the car. We didn’t go home, however. Instead we drove up to St. Helena. But that’s a story for another day . . .

A Motorcycle Beauty Pageant

Red Bull Race Sign
Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway

Three years ago my husband asked me if I wanted to go to the Red Bull United States Grand Prix motorcycle races at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca. First question: Don’t you have any motorcycle nerd friends who would want to go with you? No, he didn’t. I knew that when Michael was a boy in Greece, he had read a lot of motorcycle magazines, seen pictures of the track at Laguna Seca outside of Salinas, and dreamed of being able to go there one day. So I knew I had to humor him, and I reluctantly agreed to go to the races.

Well, it just goes to show you that sometimes you have to be dragged to the party. I had a great time! I loved the race and being around a gillion motorcycle-loving riders. And so we’ve gone to the races for the past three summers. Last weekend we joined over 135,000 spectators to watch two races. It was a bright and sunny day, and the race was close and exciting.

Below is a picture of where we park when we get to the races. Since we ride Michael’s old–I mean “classic”–BMW to the race, we take a special motorcycle-only road to the parking lot. When you arrive, there are rows and rows of beautiful bikes lined up on acres of dirt.

Motorcycle Parking Lot at Laguna Seca
Motorcycle Parking Lot

Motorcycle Parking Lot
Another view of the parking lot

The first year we went, we didn’t really know what to bring with us, but this year we were pretty organized. Although we leave from Monterey, where it’s often overcast and cool, by the time we get to the track, it’s usually sunny and warm, so we have to be prepared. I dress in layers, bring a hat I can squish into a backpack, bring a moving blanket to sit on, and two of those soft folding chairs to give support to our aging backs. This year Michael added one of those shade tents so we wouldn’t burn up in the sun. Next year I plan on bringing a soft cooler for drinks and sandwiches so we don’t have to wait in the snack bar lines. This year we sat on a hill above Turn 2 for the race.

Raceway Turn 2
On the hill above Turn 2

Australian Casey Stoner won the race in a tight battle against Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo. (We were rooting for Lorenzo because he rides a Yamaha, my husband’s favorite kind of bike.)

One of the best things about the weekend is going to Cannery Row in Monterey on Saturday afternoon. Officials close off the road to cars, and hundreds of motorcycle riders who’ve come for the races bring their bikes down to put them on display.

Cannery Row - Monterey
Looking towards the aquarium at Cannery Row

Another View of Cannery Row
Another view of Cannery Row in Monterey

It’s really a beauty pageant for motorcycles. Before long, two rows of motorcycles, handle-bar to handle-bar, line both sides of the street, and people walk up and down admiring them.

Bikes on Display
Bikes on display

Rows of Motorcycles

It’s so much fun to see the different motorcycles and their riders. I’m partial to the “girly” bikes in pinks and purples. There’s usually only a few of them out of the hundreds of red, yellow, and blue “manly” bikes. And yes, I know that I am stereotyping here, but just take a look…

Pretty in Pink
Pretty in shimmering pink

Scary and Pretty
Scary and pretty pastel

Pink and Black
Love the swirly pink pin-striping

Beautiful Blues
Beautiful blues

Glorious Greens
Glorious Greens

Tony the Tiger?
Tony the Tiger bike

Fur Coat
Showing off a new fur coat

How’s that for creativity!

I’m Not a Hoarder! I’m an Artist!

Okay . . . I’m ready to admit it to the world . . . I am addicted to A & E’s show Hoarders. I’m not proud of it, but there it is. I compare watching Hoarders to driving by an accident on the freeway. Everyone knows you’re not supposed to slow down and look, but you just can’t help checking to see if there are any dead bodies lying by the side of the road.

Hoarders is full of dead bodies . . . cats, rats, possums, birds . . . and the lives of people buried under mounds and mounds of stuff.

In case you haven’t seen the show, the premise is basically the same in each episode. First we’re taken on a tour of an anonymous person’s home, which is always an awe-inspiring train wreck. From basement to attic, people have spent years accumulating junk, (I mean “treasures”) until they have narrow pathways leading from one room to the next. Every surface from floor to ceiling is inevitably piled with an odd assortment of every possible thing you can imagine being in a house– times twenty. Sad-faced family members are interviewed and they tearfully try to explain what it’s like to life with and love a hoarder.

The hoarder herself (most of them are women) sits in the one foot by one foot space she’s carved out for herself in front of the TV on the couch and talks about her “collections.” Most of the time, these people are in extreme denial about the condition of their home. I remember one woman being interviewed and as she was laughing off the situation some of the stuff behind her started to fall on top of her. Another woman had to go to a local gas station to use the toilet and wash up because she couldn’t get into her bathroom.

We usually discover that there has been some traumatic event in the person’s life that triggered the hoarding or caused it to worsen — a death of a loved one, a disability, a sick spouse, children leaving home and moving far, far away. Sometimes the hoarders are men, but usually they are women and part of their problem is compulsive shopping. Clothes and shoes and purses are piled in heaps everywhere, much of it with tags still attached. Many of these women pride themselves on being able to find bargains that they just can’t pass up at thrift stores. And the men are often junk collectors, buying broken things so they can be fixed.

After we get a good look at the miserable situation these poor people are in, the experts come in to help. Usually a crisis has brought them there. Maybe someone’s called Child Protective Services to remove children from the home. Maybe the city has ordered them to clean up their property or face enormous fines and jail time. Someone called for help (and called A & E), and now there’s a psychiatrist who specializes in compulsive behaviors and a professional organizer with a team of people ready to help remove all the crap and get this person’s life back in order.

And so they begin. Usually there’s a struggle. The hoarder may move so slowly, pouring over every tiny scrap of paper or broken toaster to decide whether it should be tossed or donated or SAVED! Well-meaning family members watch on the sidelines with incredible frustration. Or they rant and rave and throw their hands up in despair. You know that they would just like to take a giant shovel and just start scooping and tossing everything into the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? trucks that are standing by. But the hoarders just can’t let go. “Save, save, save . . . okay, toss . . wait, wait, wait . . . let me look at that again” they say about a boxed Christmas decoration covered with rat urine and feces. EEK! And that’s not the worst of it. This show is not for the squeamish . . . believe me!

But 80% of the time, by the end of the show, yards and houses have been cleaned and the hoarders have looks of stunned relief on their faces. A postscript at the end of the show will tell us whether they are using after-care funds to continue working with a therapist or professional organizer or has refused help. Either way, you can’t help but wonder whether it’s going to last.

One of the recurring mantras you hear from family members on the show is that they just can’t believe that their mother/father/spouse has chosen stuff over them. It’s like these people spend their lives building walls around themselves as a challenge – – come in and find me if you love me enough.

So why do I watch such a depressing show? Well, I take it like medicine because I can see a tiny little piece of myself in these people. I’m sure my mother was a hoarder, especially when it came to clothes. Having lived through the Depression, she had a really hard time throwing stained, torn and out-dated clothing away, even if she hadn’t worn it for years.

One of the most vivid episodes of Hoarders was about a woman in her seventies who hoarded food. Her refrigerator was a disgusting sight. The psychologist was trying to get her to throw expired food items away, but she felt like if the package wasn’t swollen it would be fine to eat.

On her floor was a black, moldy, rotting pumpkin. A worker was trying to scrape it off the floor with a shovel. “Wait, wait,” she cried. She bent over that shovel and talked to that melting pumpkin. “You were so lovely,” she said. Then she reached her hand inside the darkened pulp and pulled out some seeds! “I can plant these,” she said. It just breaks your heart.

Now I’m not saying that I am a hoarder, but I can definitely see the possibility of falling over to The Dark Side. And I watch the show to keep myself in check and also so I can say to myself, “I may be bad, but I’m not THAT bad!” My “treasures” have been contained to one semi-well-organized room . . . okay, and part of the garage. Oh . . . and the bookshelves in the living room. But you can’t count the books . . . I don’t think.

Still, you can imagine my dismay when last Monday’s episode featured Julie from Englewood, Colorado who considers herself a . . . wait for it . . . an Altered Artist! What?? Now that really is hitting a little too close to home!

Here’s Julie, looking through boxes and boxes of stuff and she’s looking at every little broken thing as a potential piece for an art project. She pulls out a lovely duck decoy with a broken beak from a box and says, “I could use this for something.” And I’m thinking, well it’s a little big, but it does have possibilities.

The psychologist in his infinite wisdom says, “You know, when you’re an artist, and you do altered art, everything looks valuable. It’s very hard to throw anything away.”

Don’t I know it.

Coat of Arms Design

Coat of Arms Design 1
Medieval Shields ~ Shield in stained glass of the 14th Century of John of Gaunt as King of Castile

After a brief delay, I’m back again to finish sharing the introductory article to W. H. St. John Hope’s fascinating book Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers. If you want to start reading from the beginning, here’s the order: Part 1 – Heraldry, Part 2 – Coat of Arms, and Part 3 – Coat of Arms History. If you want all the pieces in one fell swoop, you can download a PDF of the article (minus the pictures) at the end of this post. Also, if you want to see and download the majority of the images from the book, visit the Public Domain Images at Karen’s Whimsy.

Now, without further ado . . .

Mr. St. John Hope continues:

Since the elucidation of the artistic rather than the scientific side of heraldry is the object of this present work, it is advisable to show how it may best be studied.

The artistic treatment of heraldry can only be taught imperfectly, by means of books, and it is far better that the student should be his own teacher by consulting such good examples of heraldic art as may commonly be found nigh at hand. He may, however, first equip himself to advantage with a proper grasp of the subject by reading carefully the admirable article on Heraldry, by Mr. Oswald Barron, in the new eleventh edition of The Encyclopedia Britannica.

Coat of Arms Design - 5
Family Crest Symbols ~ Seal of Henry Le Despnser, Bishop of Norwich, 1270 – 1406

The earliest and best of artistic authorities are heraldic seals. These came into common use towards the end of the twelfth century, much at the same time that armory itself became a thing of life, and they were constantly being engraved for men, and even for women, who bore and used arms, and for corporate bodies entitled to have seals.

Moreover, since every seal was produced under the direction of its owner and continually used by him, the heraldry displayed on seals has a personal interest of the greatest value, as showing not only what arms the owner bore, but how they were intended to be seen.

From seals may be learnt the different shapes of shields, and the times of their changes of fashion; the methods of depicting crests; the origin and use of supporters; the treatment of the ‘words’ and ‘ reasons’ now called mottoes; the various ways of combining arms to indicate alliances, kinships, and official connexions; and the many other effective ways in which heraldry maybe treated artistically without breaking the rigid rules of its scientific side.

Seals, unfortunately, owing to their inaccessibility, are not so generally available for purposes of study as some other authorities. They are consequently comparatively little known. Fine series, both of original impressions and casts, are on exhibition in the British and the Victoria and Albert museums, and in not a few local museums also, but the great collection in the British Museum is practically the only public one that can be utilized to any extent by the heraldic student, and then under the limitation of applying for each seal by a separate ticket.

The many examples of armorial seals illustrated in the present work will give the student a good idea of their importance and high artistic excellence.

Coat of Arms Design - 2
Heraldic Symbols ~ Shields of Dacre, Shelley, See of Salisbury, and Isle of Man

Next to the heraldry on seals, that displayed on tombs and monuments, and in combination with architecture, may be studied, and, of course, with greater ease, since such a number of examples is available. Many a village church is comparatively as rich in heraldry as the abbey churches of Westminster and St. Albans, or the minsters of Lincoln and York and Beverley.

It is to the country church, too, that we may often took for lovely examples of old heraldic glass, which has escaped the destruction of other subjects that were deemed more superstitious.

But the student is not restricted to ecclesiastical buildings in his search for good examples of heraldry.

Inasmuch as there never was such a thing as an ecclesiastical style, it was quite immaterial to the medieval master masons whether they were called in to build a church or a gatehouse, a castle or a mansion, a barn or a bridge. The master carpenter worked in the same way upon a rood loft or a pew end as upon the screen or the coffer in the house of the lord; the glazier filled alike with his coloured transparencies the bay of the hall, the window of the chapel, or that of the minster of the abbey; and the tiler sold his wares to sacrist, churchwarden, or squire alike.

The applications of heraldry to architecture are so numerous that it is not easy to deal with them in any degree of connexion.

Coat of Arms Design
Coat of Arms Pictures ~ Paving Tiles from Tewkesbury Abbey Church

Shields of arms, badges, crests, and supporters are freely used in every conceivable way, and on every reasonable place; on gatehouses and towers, on porches and doorways, in windows and on walls, on plinths, buttresses, and pinnacles, on cornice, frieze, and parapet, on chimney-pieces and spandrels, on vaults and roofs, on woodwork, metalwork, and furniture of all kinds, on tombs, fonts, pulpits, screens and coffers, in painting, in glass, and on the tiles of the floor (see above).

Though actual examples are now rare, we know from pictures and monuments, and the tantalizing descriptions in inventories, to how large an extent heraldry was used in embroidery and woven work, on carpets and hangings, on copes and frontals, on gowns, mantles and jupes, on trappers and in banners, and even on the sails of ships.

Wills and inventories also tell us that in jewelry and goldsmiths’ work heraldry played a prominent part, and by the aid of enamel it appeared in its proper colours, and advantage not always attainable otherwise. Beautiful examples of heraldic shields bright with enamel occur in the abbey church of Westminster on the tombs of King Edward III and of William of Valence, and on the tombs at Canterbury and Warwick respectively of Edward prince of Wales and Richard Beauchamp earl of Warwick; while in St. George’s chapel in Windsor castle there are actually nearly, ninety enamelled stall-plates of Knights of the Garter of earlier date than Tudor times, extending from about 1390 to 1485, and forming in themselves a veritable heraldic storehouse of the highest artistic excellence.

Coat of Arms Design - 3
Heraldry Clipart ~ A Shield from a Roll of Arms from a Jousting Tournament

Another source of coloured heraldry is to be found in the so-called rolls of arms (see above).

While heraldry was a living art, it obviously became necessary to keep some record of the numerous armorial bearings which were already in use, as well as of those that were constantly being invented. This seems to have been done by entering the arms on long rolls of parchment. In the earliest examples these took the form of rows of painted shields, with the owners’ names written over; but in a few rare cases the blazon or written description of the arms is also given, while other rolls consist wholly, of such descriptions, as in the well-known Great and Boroughbridge Rolls. These have a special value in supplying the terminology of the old heraldry, but this belongs to the science or grammar and not the art of it. The pictured rolls on the other hand clearly belong to the artistic side, and as they date from the middle of the thirteenth century onwards, they show how the early heralds from time to time drew the arms they wished to record.

Click here to download a copy of the entire introduction to Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers by W. H. St. John Hope, published by The MacMillan Company, 1913.

Coat of Arms History

Free Heraldry

Free Heraldry

Free Heraldry

This is the third part of a series of articles where I share the introduction to the book Heraldry for Craftsmen and Designers by W. H. St. John Hope. Mr. St. John Hope details the fascinating world of coat of arms history, explaining the rules that guided the creation of a coat of arms during the Middle Ages.

Mr. St. John Hope writes:

In the Great Roll of ams, of Edward II, are instances of two shields, in the one case of a red lion, and in the other of a red fer-de-moline, on fields party gold and vert; also of a silver leopard upon a field party gold and gules, and of three red lions upon party gold and azure. Likewise of a shield with three lions ermine upon party azure and gules, and of another with wavy red bars upon a field party gold and silver.

In the arms, too, of Eton College granted by King Henry VI in 1448-9, three silver lilies on a black field are combined with a chief party azure and gules, with a gold leopard on the red half and a gold fleur-de-lis on the blue half. King Henry also granted in 1449, these arms, party cheveronwise gules and sable three gold keys to Roger Keys, clerk, for his services in connexion with the building of Eton College, and to his brother Thomas Keys and his descendants. See below.

Coat of Arms History - Eton College
Coat of Arms of Eton College from Victorian Web

Shields with quarterly fields often had a single charge in the quarter, like the well-known molet of the Veres, or the eagle of Phelip.

Arms were sometimes counter-colored, by interchanging the tinctures of the whole or parts of an ordinary or charge or charges overlying a parti-colored field. This often has a very striking effect, as in the arms of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, which are party silver and sable a cheveron counter-coloured or those of Geoffrey Chaucer, who bore party silver and gules a bend counter-coloured. Sir Rober Farnham bore quarterly silver and azure four crescents counter-colored, or as the Great Roll describes them, ‘de l’un en l’autre.’ the town of Southampton like-wise bears for its arms gules a chief silver with the three roses counter-colored.

In drawing party-colored fields it is as well to consider what are the old rules with regard to them. In the early rolls a field barry of silver and azure, or of gold and sable, is often described as of six pieces, that is with three coloured bars alternating with the three of metal, though barry of eight and even ten pieces is found. Paly of six pieces is also a normal number. But the number of pieces must always be even, or the alternate pieces will become bars or pales. The number of squares in each line of a checkered field or ordinary is also another important matter. Six or eight form the usual basis for the division of a field, but the seven on the seal of the Earl of Arenne and Surry attached to the Barons’ Letter of 1300-1 is not without its artistic advantages. On an ordinary, such as a fesse or cross, there should be at least two rows of checkers. Here, however, as in other cases, much depends upon the size of the shield, and a large one could obviously carry with advantage either on field or ordinary more squares than a small one without infringing any heraldic law.

Coat of Arms History-Arms from the town of Colchester
Arms of the town of Colchester with a ragged cross from Heraldry of the World

Besides the plain cross familiar to most of us in the arms of St. George, and the similar form with engrailed edges, there is a variety known as the ragged cross, derived from two crossed pieces of a tree with lopped branches. This is often used in the so-called arms of Our Lord, showing the instruments of His Passion, or in compositions associated therewith, as in the cross with the tree crowned nails forming the arms of the town of Colchester. See above.

Several other forms of cross have also been used. The most popular of these is that with splayed or spreading ends, often split into three divisions, called the cross paty, which appears in the arms of St. Edward. It is practically the same as the cross called patonce, flory, or fleury, those being names applied to mere variations of drawing. The cross with les chefs flurettes of the Great Roll seems to have been one flowered, or with fleurs-de-lis, at the ends.

Another favourite cross was that with forked or split ends, formed of a fer-de-moline or mill-rind, sometimes called a cross fourchee, or, when the split ends were coiled, a cross recercelee. The arms of Antony Bek bishop of Durham (1284-1310) and patriarch of Jerusalem were gules a fer-de-moline ermine, and certain vestments “woven with a cross of his arms which are called ferrum molendini” passed to his cathedral church at his death. On his seal of dignity the bishop is shown actually wearing such a vestment of his arms. See below.

Coat of Arms History - Heraldry Symbols

Heraldry Symbols

Heraldry Symbols

The tau or St. Anthony’s cross also occurs in some late fifteenth century arms.

The small crosses with which the field of a shield was sometimes powdered were usually what are now called crosslets, but with rounded instead of the modern squared angles, as in the Beauchamp arms, and a field powdered with these was simply called crusily. But the powdering sometimes consisted of crosses paty, or formy as they were also styled as in the arms of Berkeley, or of the cross with crutched ends called a cross potent, like that in the arms of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. These crosses often had a spiked foot, as if for fixing them in the ground, and were then further described as fitchy or crosses fixable.

Coat of Arms History - Family Shields
Family Shields

To be continued . . .