A Heraldic Tour of Italy (II)

Arms of the Santini family (azure two lozenges and a rose in chief or), from Lucca.

Arms of the Torregiani family (Azure a tower between three stars of six points, one in chief); the Santini heiress married a Torregiani in the early 19th c. From the family chapel at villa Camigliani, near Lucca.

Arms of the Mansi family (azure 8 balls or, an allusion to their function as keepers of the mint dies in Republican Lucca). This display is on the door of a 19th c. carriage. Note the mantling and crown.

A curious charge, on a wall near Santa Maria Corteorlandini, Lucca (Papi family).

An 11th c. motif in inlaid marble on the facade of the Duomo, Lucca. It is clearly Oriental in inspiration, yet it also points to heraldic griffons.

A 11th c. lion: again, Oriental in appearance, but on its way to becoming a lion rampant.

The arms of Milan, from the same facade, but I'd date them to the 15th c.

Interesting arms of Sampanti, with a semy of rooks (1384) from the Campo Santo, Pisa.

The arms of Pisa held aloft by three putti, near the Campanile (leaning tower), Pisa.

German emperor's crown, from a sculpture for the tomb of Henry VII (d. 1313), by Tino da Camaino. It struck me how different this crown looks from the Modern version (Pisa, Museo del'Opera del Duomo).

Arms of the Medici from the facade of S. Stefano Papa e Martiro, Pisa. Notice the "capo di S. Stefano", also used by knights of the order (argent a Maltese cross gules). The church was chosen in 1561 as the headquarters of the Order of S. Stefano by its founder, Cosimo I de Medici.

Curious inverted star in the arms of a borgo (neighborhood) of Volterra. Many small Tuscan towns are divided in borghi which have their own arms and are often intense rivals in annual festivities (such as the famous Palio in Siena).

Interesting color depiction of arms, 15th c., on the Palazzo dei Priori, Volterra: Antonio di Leonardo Ferrucci, 1466 (bendy-embattled or and azure).

Another common medium for heraldic displays is glazed earthenware, or maiolica, here from the facade of the palazzo dei Priori, Volterra: canting arms of Matteo Palmieri, 1474 (Gules two palms vert in saltire between two lions affrontes or).

A modern rendering of the arms of the town on San Gimignano, on the facade of the communal palace. The arms are per fess Gules and Or, a lion argent overall holding in its paw a ball azure charged with three fleurs-de-lys or. Note how the oversized lion stretches out of the shield, and the mural crown seems to sit on his head. The ball in the lion's hand changed tinctures with shifting political alliegances.

Habsburg-Lorraine arms of Tuscany, from a 19th c. statue of Ferdinand III in Arezzo.

Poster announcing an unofficial referendum on Tuscan independence for May 25, 1997 (in imitation of a similar referendum called by the Liga Nord). Note the use of the Habsburg-Lorraine flag in the lower right.

Arms of Giorgio Vasari, from a ceiling in his house in Arezzo.

Unusual crest, from the Palazzo Pretorio, Arezzo. Arms of Carnesecchi (dry meat!): Azure a rook or and a chief bendy or and of the field (1482).

The canting arms of the reformed Benedictine convent of Monte Oliveto Maggiore (inlaid marble on the floor of the courtyard, famous for its frescoes by Signorelli and Sodoma, early 16th c.).

Two instances of the Florentine Albizzi's arms (sable two concentric annulets or), Cortona, Palazzo Comunale.

The Peruzzi arms again, but in this 14th c. version it is a semy of pears. Cortona, Palazzo Comunale.

Arms of the Piccolomini family (Argent on a cross azure five crescents or, and a chief of the Empire), from the Locanda dell'Amorosa, once a villa of theirs, now a delightful hotel 1 mile south of Sinalunga.

Arms of Giuseppe Tommasi, Grand-Master of the Order of Malta 1803-05, from the Museo Civico, Cortona.

Arms of the Della Rovere combined with the Montefeltre, early 16th c., ducal palace in Gubbio.

A nice display of arms: Soderini (Gules three stag's attires argent), Cortona, Palazzo Comunale, 1434.