PORTUGAL

The Arms with the Crest

 

 

Essay

Heraldry

Royal Arms   

Crested Arms

Royal Achievement

Republic of Portugal

Portuguese Seaborne Empire

 

 

 

 

 

The rulers of the County and the first rulers of the Kingdom of Portugal did not have a crest on their helmets and arms until the end of the 14th century. This is in line with the custom elsewhere on the Iberian peninsula. At the beginning of the fifteeenth century the House of Avis introduced a golden dragon issuant for crest. This was borrowed from the crest of the House of Aragon through the marrriage of King Duarte of Avis with Eleanor of Aragon who was the daughter of King Ferdinand of Aragon in 1428 who also bore a golden dragon for crest on his arms.

The dragon crest was used by all other kings of Portugal until the end of the monarchy in 1910. It was often incorporated in the royal achievement together with two dragons for supporters.

In the 20th century many commanders of the Portuguese Republican army were granted a crest on the arms of their command.

 

Kingdom

 

Alfonso I

1139-1185

 

Sancho I

1185-1211

 

Alfonso II, the Fat

1211-1223

 

Sancho II, Capelo

1223-1248

 

Alfonso III

1248-1279

 

Denis the Farmer

1279-1325

 

Obverse and reverse of the seal of King Denis

 

Equestrian seal, the King on horseback with a crowned helmet. On the reverse the royal arms

 

Alfonso IV

1325-1357

 

Wax seal of D. Afonso IV obverse and reverse

 

The same in Sousa

 

Pedro I the Justicer

1357-1367

 

Ferdinand I

1367-1383

 

Interregnum

1383-1385

 

House of Avis

 

John I

1385-1433

 

 

A crest appears on the arms for the first time in the coat of arms of the herald Gelre. [1]  It is a castle from the bordure of the arms. The arms represented must be attributed to King Ferdinand I (1367-83).  [2]

 

Duarte

1433-1438

 

From: Bergshammavapenboken fol 3v

 

Alfonso V, the African

1438-1481

 

Mannequin of the royal arms of Portugal

Le Roy de Portugal

Alphons regis filii  fol 222 [3]

 

Chancellery seal  1450-10-06

Sousa LXIV

 

John II, the Perfect Prince

1481-1495

 

From 1482 to 1485, the improvement of the royal arms was on the agenda of the Cortes that had been called by King John II. Eventually it was decided to leave out the cross of the Order of Aviso as a heraldic anomaly in the future. At the same time, the escutcheons on the sides of the quinas were set upright and the number of castles was set at seven.

 

Central part of a tapestry with the Portuguese Royal Coat of Arms

Brussels, late 15th century (bef. 1485), Cotton, wool and silk

Over all measures H. 155 Î W. 530  cm

Location: Sintra Castle, Corridor of the Coat of Arms Room[4]

 

A tapestry of the verdure or millefleurs type, with a dark blue background, decorated with floral features covering the entire field and interlaced with ribbons. A royal commission, at the centre is the Portuguese royal coat of arms with the shield topped by the crest with the winged serpent of the Avis dynasty. The four corners contain a depiction of the armillary sphere, the symbol of King Manuel I.

This is probably a commission by members of the House of Avis or intended as a gift to them, with its production awarded to Brussels, then the main centre of Flemish production.

Between the mid-15th century and the end of the 16th century, Portugal commissioned an important series of tapestries from Flanders, with heraldic tapestries with Portuguese coats of arms of great rarity.

 

Manuel I, the Fortunate

*1469-†1521

1495-1521

 

Crested royal arms of Manuel II

From: António Godinho, Livro da Nobreza e Perfeiçam das Armas dos Reis Christãos e Nobres Linhagens dos Reinos e Senhorios de Portugal,

 

Livro do Almeiro Mor, 1508-09

 

João III

*1502-†1557

1521-1557

Knight of the Fleece n° 168, Doornik, 1531

Arms of John III as a knight of the Fleece, 1531

From: Maurice, Jean Baptiste: Le Blason des armoiries de tous les chevaliers de l'Ordre de la Toison d'Or. par - 

Héraut et Roy d'Armes de sa Majesté Catholique. Den Haag, 1667.   N° CLXIV

 

Arms: Portugal

Crest: A deagon issuant from a crown

Order: Of the Fleece

 

Photo Marc Beaudoin

Arms of John III as a knight of the Fleece, 1531

Barcelona,  Cathedral of the Holy Cross [5]

 

Arms: Portugal

Crest: A deagon issuant from a crown

Order: Of the Fleece

Chancellery seal  29-11-1545

Sousa LXXXI

 

Arms: Portugal

Crest: On a helmet to the dexter a dragon issuant from a crown

L.: ao emperador do asia egtpto arabia syria senhor da palestia e de constantin-poli 

 

Sousa LXXXII  SIGILLUM EXCELSSI JOANNIS 3 REGIS PORTUGALIÆ & ALGARBIORUM CITRA & ULTRA MARE IN AFRICA AC GUINEÆ DOMINI 26-05-1539

 

1559 Stall plate of John III as a Knight of the Fleece

 

Arms: Portugal crowned with acrown of thee leaves and two fleurs de lis

L.: Treshault Tresexellet et Trespuissant Prince Jehan Par la grace de Dieu Roy de Portugal Trespasse. (Coll. St. Baafskathedraal, Gent.)

 

Sebastian

1557-1578

 

Seal of King Sebastian, 03-03-1558

Sousa LXXXVIII

 

L:: SERENISSIMI SEBASTIANI SIGILLUM I REGIS PORTUGALIÆ & ALGARBIORUM CITRA & ULTRA MARE IN AFRICA DOMINUS GUINEÆ CONQUISTÆ NAVIGATIONIS, COMMERCII  ETHYOPIÆ ARABIE INDIÆ  E INDI... 03-03-1558

 

Cardeal d. Henrique

1578-1580

 

House of Habsburg

 

Philip I (II)

1580-1598

 

Incidentally the portuguese crest was also used on the royal achievement of the Spanish kings, together with a single dragon for supporter on the sinister side of the arms. Usually however the Spanish arms were royally crowned and supported by two lions.

 

Philip II (III)

1598-1621

 

Philip III (IV)

 

1621-1640

 

House of Braganza

 

Joao IV

1640-1656

 

 

Alfonso VI

1656-1667

 

Pedro II

Regent 1667-1683

1683-1706

 

Royal Arms, 1675

From: O Thesouro de Nobreza. fl int-27

 

John V, the Magnanimous

1706-1750

 

Joseph I

1750-1777

 

 

Pedro III

1777-1786

 

Maria I

John VI

1777-1816

Regent 1799-1816

 

John VI

1816-1826

 

Pedro IV

Emperor of Brazil  1822-1831

King of Portugal 1826-1828

 

Miguel I

1828-1834

 

Maria II

1834-1853

 

House of  Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

 

Pedro V

1853-1861

 

Luis I

1861-1889

 

Carlos I

1889-1908

 

Manuel II

1908-1910

 

I Republica Portuguesa

1910-1926

 

II Republica Portuguesa

1926-present

 

In the time of the republic  crests were granted to the commanders  of the armed forces and police forces.

 

 Æ See:  Portugal Armed Forces

 

MINISTRO DA DEFESA

Descrição heráldica

Escudo de azul, cinco bezantes de prata postos em sautor. Elmo de grades, de prata, tauxiado a ouro, forrado de vermelho, de frente. Correias de vermelho, perfilado de ouro. Paquife e virol de azul e prata.Timbre, dragão sainte, de prata, linguado e animado de vermelho. Divisa, num listel branco ondulado, sotoposto ao escudo, em letras de de estilo elzevir, maiúsculas, de negro: "OS PORTUGUESES SOMOS DO OCIDENTE"

 

O escudo azul com os cinco bezantes de prata postos em sautor, ampliação de um dos cinco escudetes nacionais, alude à bandeira das quinas que, durante o período áureo dos Descobrimentos, representou a actividade militar da Nação.

O dragão simboliza a fidelidade do aparelho militar aos órgãos de soberania competentes, nos termos da Constituição.

Portaria nº 587/79 de 8 de Novembro 1979

 

 

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 © Hubert de Vries 2019-02-10

 

 

 



[1] Brussel K.B. Ms. 15652-56 fol. 167.

[2] That this is the case is proved by a somewhat more accurate consideration of the image at Gelre. On this, the hem of the coat of arms on which the castle stands as a crest is clearly painted over later with the lilies of the cross of Aviso which, as we know, can only have been introduced by John I. Seals from Peter I and Ferdinand I with the castle as a crest are unknown. It is unlikely that the arms refers to the arms of John of Castile. He was King of Castile then and his arms are depicted elsewhere in the Armorial Gelre..

[3] Armorial de l'Europe et de la Toison d'or - Gallica - Bibliothèque ...

[4] https://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/pontos-de-atracao/tapestry-with-the-portuguese-royal-coat-of-arms/

[5] From: Maurice, Jean Baptiste: Le Blason des armoiries de tous les chevaliers de l'Ordre de la Toison d'Or. par -  Héraut et Roy d'Armes de sa Majesté Catholique. Den Haag, 1667.   N° CLXIV