France now registers personal arms

The Heraldry of France
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Arthur Radburn
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France now registers personal arms

Postby Arthur Radburn » 21 Sep 2015, 19:04

Some heraldic developments in France : the Conseil National d'Heraldique (CNH), has recently been authorised to register/record the arms of natural and juristic persons. They previously dealt only with official and municipal heraldry.

Their application forms contains the terms and conditions. It appears (according to Google Translate) that :

* registration simply places the arms on record
* they will be recorded only if the CNH considers that they comply with heraldic usages;
* third party rights are expressly reserved, and in the event of a dispute about ownership or "anteriority", the parties must sort it out in a civil court;
* the arms will be published in print and digitally;
* the date of the CNH's decision does not give rise to recognition of prior ownership, possession or any rights whatsoever.

Their website is :
http://www.archivesdefrance.culture.gou ... eraldique/
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 21 Sep 2015, 21:19

What is this CNH? Is it a government agency? A private body with a government charter or sponsorship? Or ... ??

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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Arthur Radburn » 21 Sep 2015, 21:48

It's an official body, under the Ministry of Culture. The council members are appointed by the minister. No doubt there's some administrative staff too.
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Chris Green
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Chris Green » 22 Sep 2015, 06:16

The title seems to be La Commission Nationale d'Héraldique rather than Conseil.

The CNH will apparently be more than simply a register since "[arms] will be recorded only if the CNH considers that they comply with heraldic usages" which implies a reasonably in-depth knowledge of French heraldic practice. That should be a given, since the CNH has already had responsibility for authorising the arms of communes (and been largely successful if the examples in my thread on the Tour de France are anything to go by).

http://amateurheralds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=919

What the CNH does not (yet) have is a State Herald, just a rather unwieldy committee of twelve civil servants and "experts".
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Michael F. McCartney » 22 Sep 2015, 09:39

I didn't see a mention of fees for registration,
or who is eligible to apply. Did I just miss these topics?
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Chris Green » 22 Sep 2015, 09:54

Michael F. McCartney wrote:I didn't see a mention of fees for registration,
or who is eligible to apply. Did I just miss these topics?


I can't for the life of me find that info on the web-site, just a form to complete. There will doubtless be non-French citizens with French ancestors, particularly Canadians and Americans, who wish to register, but I suppose they will have to ask first (in French) whether it is possible, (and how much!)
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Arthur Radburn » 22 Sep 2015, 13:02

Chris Green wrote:The title seems to be La Commission Nationale d'Héraldique rather than Conseil.
Oops! (or the French equivalent). Thanks for the correction.

The CNH will apparently be more than simply a register since "[arms] will be recorded only if the CNH considers that they comply with heraldic usages" which implies a reasonably in-depth knowledge of French heraldic practice. That should be a given, since the CNH has already had responsibility for authorising the arms of communes (and been largely successful if the examples in my thread on the Tour de France are anything to go by).
They have already issued basic guidelines for municipal arms, which can be downloaded from their page. Let's hope they will issue similar guidelines for personal and corporate arms in the not too distant future.
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby JMcMillan » 22 Sep 2015, 14:10

Chris Green wrote:What the CNH does not (yet) have is a State Herald, just a rather unwieldy committee of twelve civil servants and "experts".


I don't pretend to any fluency in French, but mathematics is supposed to be an international language, so I'm totally baffled by the passage:

Présidée par le directeur chargé des archives de France, la commission comprend douze membres, quatre membres de droit et cinq personnalités qualifiées nommées pour trois ans par le ministre chargé de la culture.


Does that not say "Presided over by the director in charge of the Archives of France, the commission consists of twelve members, four members ex officio and five qualified persons named for three years by the minister in charge of culture?" What would Descartes say? :D

Anyway, the qualified persons look pretty well qualified to me; they include Prof. Michel Pastoureau, for one; also a couple of archivists, a specialist in sigillography, and a medieval historian.
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Chris Green » 22 Sep 2015, 15:44

Four plus five indeed does not add up to twelve. But this arrêté was drafted by French civil servants, long renowned for their creativity. And of course if there are any Énarques among the nine listed commissionaires, each one could be said to count for more than an ordinary mortal.

I look forward to seeing the Commission produce an "Heraldic Guide for the Common Man" to go with their "Vade Mecum pour un blason communale".

http://www.archivesdefrance.culture.gouv.fr/static/7547
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Re: France now registers personal arms

Postby Chas Charles-Dunne » 03 Oct 2015, 10:50

Nice to see that they credited wikimedia Commons and the authors and posted a licence as well. They have started well in my estimation.
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