Tour de France 2016

The Heraldry of France
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JMcMillan
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby JMcMillan » 07 Jul 2016, 14:33

Chris Green wrote:The blazon that accompanies this illustration gives the escallops as being in orle. But I have my doubts as to whether six of anything can form an orle, which must surely encircle the whole shield.


Not an orle of escallops but escallops in orle. If three escallops can be "in bend" without actually forming a bend, why not x-number of escallops "in orle"?
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 07 Jul 2016, 15:58

Not an orle of escallops but escallops in orle. If three escallops can be "in bend" without actually forming a bend, why not x-number of escallops "in orle"?


Hmm. But the three would in fact form a bend, whereas the six form an orle with two gaps, one at dexter chief, one at sinister base. To me "in orle" means that the charges should be equidistant from each other and placed where an orle would be.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 08 Jul 2016, 11:19

Today (Friday) the Tour starts from L'isle-Jourdain in the Département of Gers, to the west of Toulouse. Q2 and Q3 feature the Cross of Toulouse or of Languedoc. Q1 and Q4 (the historic arms of the Counts of Armagnac) quarter in their turn 1 and 4 Gers and 2 and 3 Aquitaine.

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L'Isle-Jourdain was the name taken by a scion of the noble family of L'Isle who was (re)baptised in the River Jordan during the First Crusade. The last Count was Jean, Duke of Bourbon, who was captured at Agincourt and died in London in 1421.

The finish is at the Lac de Payolles and may be in either the Commune of Campan or of Arreau:

The arms of Campan are:

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Blazon: English: Per chevron Vert and Argent three Fir Trees counterchanged, on a Chief wavy Gules fimbriated Argent three Cow-Bells Or collared Argent. Français : D'argent mantelé de sinople, aux trois sapins brochant de l'un en l'autre, au chef de gueules chargé de trois campanes d'or, colletées du champ, soutenu d'une divise ondée du même.

(Note the French use of "mantelé", a term that does not, as far as I am aware, exist in Anglo-Saxon heraldry.)

and of Arreau:

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Blazon: English Or five Rustres Sable three and two. Français : D'or à cinq rustes de sable accolées, 3 en chef et 2 en pointe.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 09 Jul 2016, 06:34

On Saturday the Tour departs from Pau, formerly capital of Béarn. From 1512 it was the capital of the Kingdom of Navarre, and it was here that the future King Henry III of Navarre was born in 1553. King Henry became King Henry IV of France in 1589. Another founder of a royal dynasty was born in Pau, though in humbler circumstances. Jean Bernadotte was born in 1763, the son of a local lawyer. He went on to be in turn a Marshal of France and (as King Karl XIV Johan) King of Sweden, founder of the present Swedish royal line.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_IV_of_France

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_XIV_John_of_Sweden

Pau has a CoA that must rank among the most eccentric among French civic arms. It includes a turtle shell, a couple of oxen, and a peacock, not to mention H and IV (for Henri IV):

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Blazon: Français : 'D'azur à la barrière de trois pals aux pieds fichés d'argent, sommée d'un paon rouant d'or, accompagnée en pointe et intérieurement de deux vaches affrontées et couronnées du même ; au chef aussi d'or chargé d'une écaille de tortue au naturel surmontée d'une couronne royale fermée d'azur rehaussée d'or, accompagnée à dextre de la lettre H capitale et à senestre d'un quatre en chiffres romains aussi d'azur.


If you want the English blazon, you have your work cut out!

The finish is at the spa town of Bagneres-de-Luchon, whose arms reflect the importance of its healthy spring water:

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Once again the blazon is given in French (in Italian too, which is really helpful, though not greatly to me):

Blazon: Français : D'or à la montagne de sable mouvant du flanc dextre d'où jaillt un jet d'eau d'argent dans une baignoire d'azur, le tout posé sur une terasse aussi de sable; au chef parti au premier de gueules chargé de quatre otelles d'argent posées en sautoir et au second d'azur à l'autel votif d'argent chargé sur le dé des inscriptions ILIXIONI DEO V.S.L.M. (Votum Solvit Libens Merito) en lettres capitales romaines de sable.
Italiano: d'oro, alla montagna di nero movente dal fianco destro, da cui scaturisce un getto d'acqua d'argento in una vasca da bagno d'azzurro, il tutto posato su una terrazza pure di nero; al capo partito: nel 1º di rosso, caricato dalle mandorle pelate d'argento; nel 2º d'azzurro, all'altare votivo d'argento caricato sul corpo dalle iscrizioni ILIXIONI DEO V.S.L.M. (Votum Solvit Libens Merito) in lettere romane maiuscole di nero.


The Latin inscription on the monument apparently refers to a local heathen god named Lixion.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 10 Jul 2016, 07:58

Sunday's mountainous stage starts in Spain, to be precise at Vielha in the Aran valley.

Arms of Vielha e Miljaran:

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and of the Val d'Aran:

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But the cycling action is set mostly in Andorra, one of the world's geopolitical oddities. Its arms as illustrated on the national flag and as used officially are surrounded by what looks like rococo wood-carving with laths used to separate the quarters. The motto is even shown carved into the "wood".

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The emblazonment as used by the Co-Princes is more like heraldry and less like an example of 18th century carpentry:

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Q1: the arms of the Bishops of Urgell; Q2: Count of Foix; Q3: King of Aragon; Q4: Viscount of Béarn.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 11 Jul 2016, 07:12

Monday is a well-earned rest day for the cyclists. On Tuesday they start from the Andorran mountain village of Escaldes-Engordany, heraldically infamous for this monstrosity (those of you who followed my Vuelta a Espanã thread last September may still be shuddering, Escaldes having been a stop on that race):

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Just over the border into France the race will pass through Ax-les-Thermes, which rather than trying to emulate its Andorran neighbour, appropriated the arms of the Counts of Foix (Q2 of the Andorran arms):

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Blazon: English: Or three Pallets Gules. Francais: D'or à trois pals de gueules.


Relations with the neighbouring commune of Foix may well be frosty as both use the same arms.

For those, like me, who were wondering why the arms of the Counts of Foix are so confusingly similar to those of the Kings of Aragon (one less pallet), the answer seems to lie in the fact that they were once feudal vassals of the Counts of Barcelona.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Terry Baldwin » 11 Jul 2016, 12:23

I have been remiss in on complementing you on this wonderful series, thank you so much for presenting it.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Terry Baldwin » 11 Jul 2016, 12:25

Apologies should read "remiss in not complementing you on the series.
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 12 Jul 2016, 13:08

Today (Tuesday) the destination is Revel in the Département of Haute-Garonne. Revel's CoA is a testament to its town councillors' lack of interest in/understanding of heraldry:

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Blazon: English: Azure a capital letter R argent surmounted by a crown or. Français : D'azur à la lettre R capitale d'argent surmontée d'une couronne d'or.


Haute-Garonne has a CoA that makes use of the Cross of Languedoc/or Toulouse together with four "otelles" in saltire. What an "otelle" may be I cannot fathom, though they seem to have been borrowed from the arms of the Counts of Comminges, local feudal lords.

Haute-Garonne:

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Blazon: Français : de gueules à la croix cléchée, vidée et pommetée de douze pièces d’or, cantonnée de quatre otelles d’argent adossées et posées en sautoir.


Counts of Comminges:

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Blazon: Francais: de gueules aux quatre otelles d'argent adossées et posées en sautoir.


Wiki helpfully gives the English blazon as:

Gules four otelles Argent addorsed in saltire.


Interestingly the ancient arms of the Counts of Comminges are: Argent a Cross Patty Gules, which looks like this:

Image

Does anyone see a similarity between the field of the ancient arms and the mysterious "otelles" of the more recent design?
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Re: Tour de France 2016

Postby Chris Green » 13 Jul 2016, 10:18

Wednesday's stage departs from Carcassonne and makes its way to Montpellier.

Carcassonne's arms are intended to draw attention to its city walls:

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Blazon: English Azure a City Gate flanked by two crenellated towers Argent, over the gate an Escutcheon of France Modern. Français : D'azur, à un portail de ville, accompagné de deux tours crénelées d'argent et surmonté d'un écusson d'azur à trois fleurs de lis d'or, 2 et 1.


The arms really do not do justice to the impressive circuit of city walls that surround old Carcassonne:

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Carcassonne is in the Département of Aude, whose arms utilise the Cross of Languedoc/Toulouse with a bordure that perhaps evokes the walls of Carcassonne:

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Blazon: English Gules a Cross of LanguedocOr within a Bordure embattled Argent. Francais: De gueules à la croix cléchée, vidée et pommetée de douze pièces d’or, à la bordure crénelée d’argent.


Montpellier is the capital of the Département of Hérault: whose arms once again recall the ancient region of Languedoc:

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Blazon: English Argent on a Torteau a Cross of Languedoc Or. Francais: D’argent au tourteau de gueules chargé d’une croix cléchée, vidée et pommetée de douze pièces d’or.


The arms of Montpellier are:

Image

Blazon: Francais: D'azur au trône gothique d'or, sur lequel est assise Notre Dame de carnation vêtue d'une robe de gueules et d'un manteau du champ, tenant l'Enfant Jésus de carnation, vêtu d'argent, le tout surmonté des lettres onciales A et M d'argent, rangées en chef, et soutenu d'un écusson du même chargé d'un tourteau de gueules.


The French blazon refers to the skin of Jesus and Mary as "carnation", where an English blazon might have passed over this detail "carnation" not commonly featuring among Anglo-Saxon tinctures. What the "On an Escutcheon Argent a Torteau" is supposed to mean, if anything, I have no idea.
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