Our Arms

The coat of arms which our ancestors used in the fourteenth century shows a silver-and-black divided shield. To this was added, from 1404 on, a helmet decoration which in a short time had developed into a silver-and-black divided crest (see Arms Chart 1).

As the practical use of shields in tournaments declined these arms underwent the following changes:

In 1553 the shield appears with the addition of a red border;
In 1576 the crest shows the addition of six stuck-in feathers;
In 1593 the crest becomes an upside-down pointed cap with red turn-up.

So remained our arms for the space of 40 years, as it, for example, is represented on the cover of the book. The arms of many old families have undergone similar modifications, yes, even complete transformations.

As later arms designs have arisen through additions to the original patterns, the heraldic technical language distinguishes between the "family arms" and an "augmented arms". The latter term may also be used by us in reference to the later patterns developed from orignial arms, because the term implies that features of the design have endured through the years, that there is a "relationship" with the original arms. So there has remained for us the characteristic silver-black splitting of the shield and of the crest. These remain in the helmet and shield of the augmented arms.

Old families are always justified in re-adopting their ancient arms. This indeed has often happened since the old art of heraldry received new impetus through scientific studies at the end of the 19th century. At the organization of the "Family Association of the von Bose e.V." {I can't find the meaning of "e.V."} on 8 Oct 1898, it appeared to the assembly to be self-evident that our numerous and varied ways of handling the elements of the arms should be regulated. The following ideas were introduced, and on 4 Oct 1902, on the occasion of our 4th family anniversary day, were approved by unanimous agreement:

In view of the testimony of the utmost antiquity, as well as upon the ground of documentary approval by three leading experts in heraldry,

the coat of arms which our family used at its first appearance is recognized as our basic family arms;
the augmented coat of arms nevertheless is to be looked upon as the standard coat of arms.

Formal resolution to regard the augmented arms as our official arms resulted from consideration of the fact that these arms, having already added a helmet-crown and a shield-holder, were granted by royal Prussian diploma of 6 Mar 1880 to our first Prussian count (Family Number E169), and have been assigned to any Prussian count that may occur in our family (see Arms Chart 2, lower right).

The augmented arms, as shown, for example, on the cover of this book or in Arms Chart 2, upper right, are, according to the formal resolution of 4 Oct 1902, to be used for all official purposes and may be preprinted on the correspondence paper of those belonging to the von Bose family association.

The sheets of our family archives are identified by the design pictured on Arms Chart 2, upper left.

This official specification of the arms assures to each family member who is entitled to the leadership of the Bose arms the right also to make use of the basic (unaugmented) arms.

As to the arms shown on Arms Chart 2, lower left, which belonged to our extinct imperial ducal twig, There will be more information in the description of the coats of arms, which comes next, as well as in the personal data under Family Number V35 of the family list of the Vogtländ branches. (The cross, anchor, and star in these arms are Christian emblems.)

Here follows now the heraldic description ("emblazonment") of our arms:

THE BASIC FAMILY ARMS (early Gothic style) See Arms Chart 1.
Of silver and black parted. On the bucket helmet with black-and-silver cover a fan-like crest, slightly rounded at the top.

THE AUGMENTED ARMS (high Gothic style) See the book cover.
Of silver and black parted, inside a red border. On the pointed helmet, with a black-and-silver cover, an upside-down, pointed cap, of silver and black parted, with a red turn-up, the pointed top bending toward the left; the opening of the cap stuck with six cockfeathers: the three in the right, silver with red tips bending toward the right; the three on the left, black with red tips bending leftward.

THE AUGMENTED ARMS (Renaissance style) See Arms Chart 2, upper right.
Inside a red border parted silver and black. On the bow-helmet with black and silver visor, and so forth as set forth above.

Arms of the imperial ducal twig which became extinct on 25 Dec 1887.
Wording of the original text:
{This paragraph is in medieval German and I [Victor Williams] have had to guess.} [For Tricia von Bose's translation click here.]
". . . a shield in the lower black field of which four white beams {?} diagonal {?}; in the front above blue, a brown chestnut-color cross; in front below white, between three green trefoils a knife with brown handle toward the dwarf {?}; behind above blue, an iron-color anchor with brown rope; in the middle going down from above, a black field but a red-bordered little heart-shield lengthwise parted in the middle, of which the back field black, the front, however, white; thereabove a golden crown, but thereunder a six-pointed white star is to be seen; on the shield stand three open noble blue-angel-open {?} red-lined crowned tournament-helmet with a jewel hanging on it and on both sides yellow and black mixed helmet-ornaments; on the 'letzerm' {can't guess} between two antlers a green trefoil; at the middle a white 'geschackthes' {?} and red-turned-up black horn, thereabove three white and three black cockfeathers with red tips; on the forward one, between two black and white bent buffalo horns with the mouth holes turned outwards, the star described in the shield; the shield supported at both sides by two upright standing yellow or yellow-tinted lions with tails held high, wide-open throats and red tongues sticking out . . . ."

Since the arms have not been made according to the foregoing original text, but otherwise (e.g., as shown in the chart), there follows here a description corresponding to the representation on Arms Chart 2, lower left:

Shield: parted, three-ways split and with a heart-shield applied;
Heart-shield: inside a red border split half-and-half silver and black;

1st field: in black a golden crown,
2nd field: in blue suspended a simple natural-colored cross,
3rd field: in blue an iron-colored anchor with a rope drawn through it,
4th field: in black a six-rayed silver star,
5th field: in silver a transversely laid, rightward turned vine-knife with a brown handle accompanied by three (2 above 1) green trefoils (of Görne),
6th field: of black and white seven times divided (of Miltitz),

On the shield three crowned bow-helmets with black-yellow visors:
1st helmet: an upside-down, red turned up, of silver and black quartered, pointed hat with point turned toward the right, the opening of which is stuck with six cockfeathers, rightward three silver with red tips curving toward the right, leftward three black with red tips curiving toward the left,
2nd helmet: between two seven-times-divided buffalo horns of black and silver (of Miltitz) a six-rayed silver star,
3rd helmet: between two ten-point natural stag-antlers a growing green trefoil (of Görne),

The shield is held by two backwards-facing, red-tongued and armed {?} golden lions.

Arms of the current Prussian counts

Wording of the original text:
"a four-cornered shield, cut away on the sides and rounded on the two lower corners, divided silver and black, with a red border, on the edge of which rests a count's crown set with pearls and jewels; above the crown stands a steel-blue, open, forward-facing tournament-helmet, red-lined, with a golden bow-pieces and borders, decorated with a dependent jewel and with a noble crown; on the crown there stands a Hungarian cap, turned up all the way around, of silver and gold divided, and with a red brim, out of the cap six cockfeathers arise, with the tips dipped in blood, three bending toward the right, of silver and black divided, and three bending toward the left, of silver; the helmet-covers are on both sides, silver on the inside, black-tinged on the outside. The shield is held by two turned away Prussian eagles decorated with the royal crown and the Hohenzollern shield; the eagles stand on a motto-ribbon bearing the inscription 'With Earnestness Toward the Goal'."

We show these arms (Arms Chart 2, lower right), corresponding to the following description, modified to a form heraldically unobjectionable, as the count's master of arms is authorized to display it:

Inside a red border, parted silver and black; on the crowned bow-helmet with black-silver cover an upside-down, red-brimmed pointed hat of parted silver and black, with point bent toward the right, the opening of which is stuck with six cockfeathers, to the right three of silver and black divided with red tips turned toward the right, to the left three of silver with red tips turned toward the left.

The shield is held by two turned-away Prussian eagles, ornamented with the royal crown, and bearing golden trefoil stalks; the eagles have on their chests the quartered silver and black Hohenzollern shield, and they stand on a motto ribbon, which bears the inscription: "With Earnestness Toward the Goal."

For more information on our branch's coat of arms, see Our Coat of Arms

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