Illustration of Prussian provincial coats of arms (14 pieces).
The history of heraldry is divided into three main periods. The time from around the 11th to the 13th century when the shield with the image represents the actual coat of arms. Then the period from about the 13th to the 15th century, the heyday of heraldry, in which helmets and jewelry (such as wings, feathers, horns, hats, hulls) are added to the shield. This was followed by the period since the 16th century, when the shield was no longer used as a weapon, but only as a badge of honor and more and more insignificant ingredients were added. It was customary for the warriors and especially the military leaders of the peoples of Babylon, Persia and China to put various symbols and figures on their shields and flags. Various animals such as lions, horses, dogs, boars and birds can also be found on the shields of the ancient Greeks. Furthermore, the legions and cohorts of Rome also had their own symbols and insignia. With the rise of feudalism in the Middle Ages, the ruling houses chose their own symbols. During the great campaigns, dozens of noble houses were able to move out together, and their armor had increasingly fewer design differences. The colors and symbols on the shields became increasingly important, and several colors were combined in simple geometric shapes. Another reason for showing coats of arms was provided by knight tournaments, which were both a weapon exercise and an exhibition. Those who were defeated in a duel often lost their horse and armor, which was very expensive at the time. The knights could hardly be recognized under the full armor of the early 12th century, so the tournament participants wore their own coat of arms or that of their liege lord on the shields. The importance of knight tournaments waned with the burgeoning renaissance, and the rapid spread of firearms in the 16th century quickly put an end to the confrontation with shield, lance, armor and sword. In the meantime, however, the coats of arms also had a sovereign function. Most of the knights of the Middle Ages were illiterate, but knowing the symbols of the coat of arms allowed them to assign documents. The heraldic elements lost their intrinsic value and were partly used again purely for decorative purposes as a mere filling of lavishly designed cartouches.
|Place of Publication||Leipzig|
|Dimensions (cm)||21,5 x 27 cm|
( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )