Kurov Melnick_33






          Excerpts from the book





          Written and illustrated by

          Carl Alexander von Volborth , K.St.J., A.I.H.


          Copenhagen 1973


          Internet version edited by   Andrew Andersen, Ph.D.










(pp. 36-41)



The fashion of placing a wreath, made up of two twisted bands of silk, designed to keep the mantling firmly attached to the helmet, was started in about the middle of the fourteenth century. The wreath (or 'torse') was also used as a support for the crest (see the following pages| and to hide the join between helmet and crest.


A crown was often used for the same purpose. These crowns or coronets were originally the privilege of noble families, but later they were used by other classes and are therefore not necessarily a sign of rank.

As well as the traditional crest-coronet (see Figs. 205, 208 and 209), various other forms of crown gradually came into being, examples of which are shown below.





The earliest use of a crest known to us comes from a seal dated 1197 belonging to Baldwin of Flanders. It was not until the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries that crests became general. They could be made of leather, canvas (on a wooden framework), feathers and suchlike, and were worn especially at tournaments. In Northern and Central Europe, and in the British Isles, most family coats of arms have a crest, but this is not the case in France and Southern Europe. In many countries helmet and crest are not borne by women and the clergy.


Volborth 016



Volborth 017 - Copy


Volborth 017


Volborth 018 - Copy


Volborth 018