Culture and heritage


Heraldic chart showing various elements of heraldic design

This photograph is of a chart or table in a heraldry text book found in the collections of the Government Printing Office. The curving lines across the image are cracks in the glass plate negative of the photo.

The actual text book has not been identified, but it is typical of many late nineteenth century publications describing, by pictures and labels, visual characteristics and types of heraldic illustration. Despite the apparently orderly arrangement of images, there is no discernible scheme to the lay out. The images are clearly drawn, and could easily be copied by a competent artist, suggesting that the main purpose of the chart is to provide images for heraldic illustration rather than a treatise on blazoning or heraldic history.

Such publications were widely available at the turn of the twentieth century. The presence of this photograph in the Government Printing Office collections indicates the type of sources and references available to Gullick when he worked on heraldically-inspired designs such as those for postage stamps, and which may have also informed his development of the NSW Coat of Arms.

Some questions to research:

  1. Can any of the charges or elements in the NSW Coat of Arms be seen in this chart?
  2. What does the chart indicate about the importance of visual qualities in any heraldic design?
Image source: GPO 1 - 12234, State Library of NSW, Picman
Page last updated: 01 September 2012