Thus the mitre over an English bishop's coat-of-arms is a survival which indicates him as the successor of bishops who actually wore mitres, while armorial bearings themselves, and the whole craft of heraldry, are survivals bearing record of a state of warfare and social order whence our present state was by vast modification evolved.
Blavignac, Armorial genevois (Geneva, 1849), and Etudes sur Geneve depuis l'antiquite jusqu'a nos jours (2 vols., Geneva, 1872-1874); Fr.
Equestrian seals of barons and knights; the seals of ladies of rank; the armorial seals of the gentry; and the endless examples, chiefly of private seals, with devices of all kinds, sacred and profane, ranging from the finely engraved work of art down to the roughly cut merchant's mark of the trader and the simple initial letfer of the yeoman, typical of the time when everybody had his seal.
C. Fox-Davies's Armorial Families (Edinburgh, 1895, and subsequent editions) represents an unhistorical attempt to create the idea of a noblesse in the United Kingdom.
Somewhat later the adoption of hereditary surnames and armorial bearings marked the existence of a large and noble class who either from the subdivision of fiefs or from the effects of the custom of primogeniture were very insufficiently provided for.
The hotel de ville, the facade of which is decorated with armorial bearings of Renaissance carving, and the church of St Etienne, an unblemished example of Romanesque architecture, are of interest.
The common use of armorial bearings, and the practice of the tournament, may be Oriental in their origin; the latter has its affinities with the equestrian exercises of the Jerid, and the former, though of prehistoric antiquity, may have received a new impulse from contact with the Arabs.
The Riddarhus (house of the nobility) was the meeting-place of the Council of the Nobles until 1866, and its hall is adorned with the armorial bearings of noble families.
Here, as elsewhere in the old time, a nobleman and a gentleman meant the same thing, namely, a man who under certain conditions of descent was entitled to armorial bearings.
Local seals of town or borough may have the image of a patron saint, or armorial device, or castle or bridge or other building (see fig.