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Another Scam? or One Renamed?

Readers have reported another Web merchant selling "Coats of Arms" and "Distinguished Histories of Your Names" ~ Swyrich ~ but this appears at first sight to be a reincarnated Hall of Names (of whose "Distinguished Histories" we have written before).

The new site invites visitors to "Discover a Coat of Arms for Your Surname" and proclaims that

We have authentic, full-color coats of arms for thousands of surnames of various nationalities. Swyrich coats of arms are crafted according to traditional heraldic standards.

The first sentence is common to all the heraldry scams on the Internet, and can be ignored, but the second sentence is an affront to all genuine heraldic artists.

As its principal example of "traditional heraldic standards" Swyrich offers a "Coat of Arms" for the name of Kerr. This attempts to illustrate the pronominal quarter of the Marquess of Lothian, Chief of the Kerr Clan. Placed above the shield is the helm of a gentleman, and around it some 19th century mantling (the same that appears on all the Swyrich products). But the shield is of a totally inappropriate shape (recently discussed in the Classical Heraldry articles), and the chevron has ridiculously sunk to its base ~ as if blazoned Gules and in base on a chevron Argent three mullets of the field, instead of Gules on a chevron Argent three mullets of the field.

Don Pottinger's portrayal of the Marquess's arms uses the classical heater shape of shield, by far the best for a single coat, and depicts it couché (aslant, technically "couched") with realistic mantling. He could have chosen to show the shield upright and to extend the mantling to both sides of the helm (which is that of a peer).

Absurdity from Swyrich
~ a misplaced chevron on a ridiculous shield.
Arms of City of Canterbury
A classic from
Don Pottinger,
Unicorn Pursuivant
The Pottinger illustration is taken from Scotland of Old,
the superb poster he designed with Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Bt, Albany Herald.
Parody of the Distinguished Histories from the Hall of Names
Classical Heraldry ~ the shape of the shield
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The Baronage Content Page January-February 2000
© 2000 The Baronage Press and Pegasus Associates Ltd