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Nicholas Upton, Treatise on Military Arts and Heraldry f.48r

Nicholas Upton, Treatise on Military Arts and Heraldry f.48r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1450

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Nero C III

Item number: f.48r

Length: 34

Width: 21

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

Bound into a volume containing manuscripts owned by 16th century collector, Robert Cotton, this is a page of a treatise on military arts, arms and heraldry by Nicolas Upton, a canon at Salisbury (became precentor 1446) and Wells cathedrals and the foremost English authority on heraldry in his day. It is uncertain where the manuscript was made.

A page from Upton's reference work on heraldic signs covers the symbolism and lore associated with the toad, camel, goat and dog as they appear in arms. In his discussion of the camel, he cites Isidore of Seville's comparison of the arabian camel with those from other places, a passage often referred to in bestiaries or books on animal lore. The arms illustrated show the three toads or frogs arranged in the same pattern as the fleurs de lis of the French royal arms.

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