CharlieZardoz

The subsciption frigate New York and other details

43 posts in this topic

A small clarification of the seal, in case anybody was wondering why the dexter (Latin for right-hand) figure is on the left and the sinister (Latin for left-hand) figure is on the right, instead of the other way around. Seal descriptions come from the mediaeval art of heraldry - the study, rules and blazoning (describing in heraldic technical terms) of a person's coat of arms.

 

The blazon relates first and foremost to the design on the shield, and describes the figures and designs from the viewpoint of the person holding the shield, not the viewer. So from the viewer's point of view, sinister is on the right and dexter is on the left . . . It's confusing, but that's the way it's been ever since heraldry began, and there's nothing we can do about it but learn to live with it. (A bit like pushing the tiller to port when you want to go to starboard . . .).

 

As it's a seal rather than a coat of arms, I doubt that colours would be specified. I've looked at google images, and they show the background (field in heraldic terminology) as either white (argent) or blue (azure).

 

With this as a basis, and choosing a white background, the blazon would go something like this -

 

"Argent, a windmill's sails in saltire [i.e. as a diagonal cross] proper [in its natural colours].

 

In chief and base [top and bottom] a beaver statant [standing] or possibly couchant  [lying down, but with head raised - there's no heraldic term for crouching, which is what these beavers appear to be doing] proper .

 

In dexter and sinister a barrel proper [note that if the barrels were lying on their sides they would be called tuns.]

 

For a crest, an eagle displayed [standing facing the viewer with its wings spread and head turned to the right - if it was facing the other way I think it would be described as regardant (looking backwards), or perhaps just "facing sinister"].

 

For supporters, dexter a sailor holding a plummet in his dexter hand, sinister, a native American (or whatever the correct heraldic term may be) holding a bow in his sinister hand, both upon a laurel branch in fess [horizontal] above the date 1625.

 

Motto "sigillum civitatis novi eboraci" 

 

The whole within a laurel wreath proper."

 

I've probably committed all kinds of heraldic blunders in this blazon, but it's not too far from how it should be.

 

As you can see, it's a very technical and precise subject. The blazon is supposed to be phrased in such a way that anybody should be able to produce a picture of  the coat of arms (or achievement) just from reading it.

 

Perhaps not too germane to the discussion, but it's a subject I find fascinating.

 

Steven

 

 

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Thank You Talos,  Your pictures are much clearer than the one Annapolis send me.  I wish I knew what the heads looked like?  Anyone have any ideas?  I can't figure out if the figures are Native Americans or something "Greek' ?  Thank You again, a big help. Harold

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You're welcome, glad you like them. The Navy History and Heritage Command website has them in vastly larger .tiff files as well. I'm pretty sure they are Native American figures, judging by the loincloth and the boots, as well as the upper-arm decoration.

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Seems awfully small compared to the first photo's house siding, and the second photo's wall corner wainscoating, to be the center of a large frigate's tafferail ...

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They could be part of the quarter gallery moldings or some other fragment of the stern decoration. Otherwise I'd say they are about the right size to be supporters for a center seal/symbol.

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A wonderful find of those carvings! perhaps they were in the divide between quarter gallery and hull on the transom or at each edge of the transom? 

 

constitution-old-ironsid-webconstitution

 

And to me the dress looks more Greek/Byzantine than Native, with Pteruges on the shoulders and skirt of a breastplate. With Philadelphia being a greek word It makes more sense to me, but I'm not sure what the record on her carvings indicates. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pteruges

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/32/1f/ae/321fae38bb98cace5d4fd3bbb3540f65.jpg

https://larsbrownworth.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Byzarmy.jpg

 

Are there any other photos of the recovered taffrail pieces out there? Those seem very well preserved, its tempting to think of what might have been recovered if the wreck had been uncovered in the modern day with better technology.

 

 

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I agree with CaptArmstrong. It is very reminiscent of the late Roman/early Byzantine armour, which itself harked back to ancient Greece. The 'muscled' breastplate and the pteruges on the upper sleeves etc, and even the buskins could have come straight from the Barberini ivory (below).

 

 

799-image-1600-1600-fit.thumb.jpg.9fc1f04c5931c4073bb8e4f31b50e083.jpg

 

 

And rather than an accurate portrayal,  this would be an 18th century person's idea of what the ancient Greeks wore.

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Just as a note:  It was originally in one piece, in earlier pictures.  I believe it was the center of the Taffrail.  How much longer it was I don't know.  Bainbridge cut parts of the Taffrail away to get guns to bear.  I wish that they studied it better and that it didn't go missing.  Next to the arms, are there feathers?   Very interesting ideas, I'm leaning toward the "Greek",but still open.  Figurehead  was Hercules, and Wm.Rush liked Greek themes.  Thank you all for your input. 

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Seeing an example of the Greek ones, I'm leaning towards it as well now. I had an image in my head of something very different when I posted, thinking it looked closer to a Native American loincloth. It's exactly like that figure in the middle-left of the ivory. As far being one piece, that does explain why they're posing them pressed up against each other there. Was it the dead center of the taffrail or where they supporting figures on either side of a central carving/seal? As it stands, there's something missing in the middle, else there'd be no room for their heads.

 

This is a very different era and style of course, the Vasa of the 1600s, but something like this. Just replacing the lions with the Greek warriors.5c9143b2d6a548901555c48eed762598.jpg

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On the original picture I have there isn't anything between  the figures, there is a round hole not centered, looks like a shot hole(?).  It seems the fit the arch over the windows on the stern, at least by the wood cut of the Philadelphia entering Tetuan,Morocco.  I need to learn how to post pictures, this old dog needs to learn new tricks.

Update: was able to post a picture of different ideas for the taffrail, any opinions?:

DSC_0392.thumb.JPG.96144847b129c76a43c2146beb40cca0.JPG

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My computer programmer son is trying to show me how to post pics.  These are some ideas for the Philly's taffrail I am playing with.  I think I spotted a Lion Head on the right side and either a Griffon or a Hydra on the left side.  I may be seeing thing?  I like the one with the Griffon-

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