This Woman Brought Her Family Coat Of Arms In For Appraisal. What A Surprise!

A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which consists of shield, supporters, crest, and motto. The design is a symbol unique to an individual person or family (except in the UK), corporation, or state.

In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son; wives and daughters could also bear arms modified to indicate their relation to the current holder of the arms.

This is such a cool family artifact — I’ve never seen anything like it! In fact, this may be my favorite antique yet.

Dating back to 1734, this family Coat of Arms is made of paper. It was created using a process called quilling, which involves tightly wound pieces of paper specifically arranged to create an intricate design. Quilling or paper filigree was a thoroughly British thing, and it was something which ladies would do in their spare time, very much like needlework, and it wasn’t considered too strenuous on their delicate sensibilities.

But this old timey object is more than just an heirloom.

According to the Antiques Roadshow expert featured in the video, quilling techniques were extremely rare in colonial America, making this antique quite a specimen. Since this particular Coat of Arms represents two “Great New England families,” the piece is quite valuable.

What do you think of the coat of arms presented to the appraiser? Do you have anything similar? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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