Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A new armorial standard from South Africa (part 2)



Back in June I wrote a small piece about a new armorial standard from South Africa and I'm please to report that one of my readers, who wishes to remain anonymous, has provided me with a generous response. I can do no better than quote it in full:

"Residing in South Africa as I do, I have a keen interest in local heraldry and of course the work of the Bureau of Heraldry. An invaluable resource in this regard that you may not be aware of is the National Archives of South Africa’s† database of the Bureau of Heraldry on registered heraldic representations. This database is available and searchable online using the National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAIRS).‡ NAIRS’ web interface is archaic and cumbersome by today’s standards, the database itself does not seem to be entirely complete and there seem occasionally to be some transcription errors, but it is a valuable resource nonetheless and certainly better than nothing at all.

In pursuit of your query I decided to search for ‘quast’ as it seemed to me, in the South African context at least, a rather rare name. As I had hoped, this turned up results belonging to but one person, a Mr Rudolph Andries Ulrich Juchter van Bergen Quast. However, there were only two records: the badge and standard with the references 3371 and 3372, respectively, presumably corresponding with the certificate numbers you mentioned. Both were registered in 2003, the record for the arms themselves unfortunately does not appear to be in the database. In any event the blazon for the badge in question is given in the record as:

‘Upon a [sic] oval, fesswise pean, an Indian elephant statant Or, armed Argent, strapped over the belly, hump and rump Sable, cottised Or, charged on the left flank with a rose Gules, barbed Vert, seeded Or; seated on his neck a mahout, in his sinister hand a stick in bend sinister Argent.’

The blazon for the standard is given as (all sic):

‘In the hoist the arms of Rudolph Andries Ulrich Juchter van Bergen Quast and in the fly pean, Gules and Gules, between two transverse bands Or, fimbriated Argent, bearing the motto NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT in letters Sable, cottised Or, charged on his left flank with a rose Gules, barbed Vert, seeded Or; seated on his neck a mahout, in his sinister hand a stick in bend sinister Argent; in the second compartment two leopard faces snarling in pale Or; in the third compartment a leopard face snarling Or; the sleeve Or and fringed compony Gules and Or.’

I can only surmise that there has been an error in transcribing the blazon of the standard into the database and that the blazon of the standard should in fact read:

In the hoist the arms of Rudolph Andries Ulrich Juchter van Bergen Quast and in the fly pean, Gules and Gules, between two transverse bands Or, fimbriated Argent, bearing the motto NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT in letters Sable, in the first compartment an Indian elephant statant Or, armed Argent, strapped over the belly, hump and rump Sable, cottised Or, charged on his left flank with a rose Gules, barbed Vert, seeded Or; seated on his neck a mahout, in his sinister hand a stick in bend sinister Argent; in the second compartment two leopard faces snarling in pale Or; in the third compartment a leopard face snarling Or; the sleeve Or and fringed compony Gules and Or.

Although there is some ambiguity as to whether the tincture of the letters really is sable, as the record could have been cut off after either the word ‘letters’ or the word ‘Sable’. Sable could refer the tincture of the elephant’s straps or the lettering.

This would be the most serious error that I have thus far encountered in the database, the others being minor typos, perhaps I should write to the relevant database administrator (I can keep you apprised of any updated if I do).

* http://cheshire-heraldry.org.uk/weblog/2015/06/19/a-new-armorial-standard-from-south-africa/
http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za/
‡ Available at http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za/sm300cv/smws/sm300dl
select ‘HER’ for the heraldic database.
Submit = Submit"

I am most grateful to my reader.

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