Heraldic Times — funeral hatchment RSS

Heraldry and funeral hatchments part 2

In Medieval times, the trappings of knighthood were carried in the funeral procession and afterward laid in the church near the grave of the deceased. In the Low Countries (Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg) a new practice arose in the 16th century whereby the actual pieces of armor, swords, gauntlets, helm, and tabard were replaced with painted reproductions, usually made of wood. These were grouped in a frame, together with the shields of the paternal and maternal grandparents. The background of the display was painted in mourning black. Such framed displays were known as cabinets d’armes or cabinets d’honor. This practice led to the use of Hatchments (a corruption of ‘achievement’), the diamond-shaped mourning boards, many of which are still found...

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Heraldry and funeral hatchments part 1

FUNERAL HATCHMENT In the late Middle Ages up until the 20th century funeral hatchments were used to proclaim the death of a member of a titled or landed family and were emblazoned with the arms of the deceased person. The custom of displaying coats of arms in connection with funerals dates from the early days of heraldry, but the diamond shaped canvas in a wooden frame -the hatchment - was apparently introduced into Britain, from Holland, around the time of the Restoration. The word itself is a corruption of achievement, which means a coat of arms with all its appropriate accessories, such as helmet, crest, mantling and so on. Hatchments remained in fashion for about two hundred years. During the...

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