Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lions sejant?

click photo to enlarge
I have no time for the social structure that produced heraldry or for heraldry as a social tool; it seems to me to be a self-serving way of differentiating the plebeians from the aristocracy, of binding the so-called "upper classes" together by lineage, and, in many cases, giving a spurious antiquity to the nouveau riche. That being said, you have to admire the gusto with which the whole heraldic apparatus was invented established, codified and embedded in society.

Go anywhere in England and you'll come across heraldry. It's in almost every Church of England building, virtually all civic buildings, on the coinage, on pub signs, affixed to buildings, printed on book covers, an most of all, everywhere in castles new and old.

Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire is a Victorian castle and the builders took great pains to make it look like it has been built up over the centuries, with rooms and details in various architectural styles. It is also dripping with heraldry. The detail above shows part of a panel behind a stream of water that issues from a wall into a pool. It has two lions facing each other, their front legs raised on steps, between them a tree, and above a shield. The position that heraldic animals adopt are circumscribed by rules and special names. I think this pair are sejant!

© Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 95mm (142mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On