Fantastic Crests of the Middle Ages


An achievement of arms is composed  by the Shield of Arms and the Crested Helmet (helm, crest, wreath or coronet, and mantling). Crests were often hereditary and could be transmitted through heiresses, but it was possible that a crest was unique for a person. So many medieval crests appear to be entirely unrelated to the devices depicted on the shield.

Before a tournament, the knights displayed their armiger’s shields and crested helmets, sometimes on the lists’ fence, so they are checked by the heralds.

More that the emblazoned shield, the crested helmet, who is compare to the mask or the totem of primitive civilisations, has a very symbolical signification: the crest made the knight higher up, more terrific. So, it shows often a monster, a  fabulous creature, a fantasy or surrealistic subject.

Click on vignette to see full plain screen and text (partially in French)

The griffin The swan The unicorn The stag The eagle
The horse The crane The human head The hand The wings

Note : all this crests were realised by the Website's author with epoxy putty - Milliput ® - and painting in acrylics.
Some ones are commercialised in kits by Nemrod ® : swan, unicorn and griffin.