Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Coat-of-arms: Monte Cristo

For the first article, I'd like to start with Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, and this time, the main character's coat-of-arms. Why? First because I remembered I studied the heraldic terms while reading Monte Cristo for the first time. Second, I've just realised that he had a coat! I mean, I read the story tens of times and I didn't pay so much attention to the detail until last week.

So, here is the description of his arms in French:

“aux armes de Monte-Cristo, armes représentant une montagne d'or, posant sur une mer d'azur, avec une croix de gueules au chef”

And the description in English:

“Monte Cristo arms, which were a mountain, or, on a sea azure, with a cross gules on the shield.”

Monte Cristo arms
I try to make a picture of it based on the blazon, but the description does not really state the background colour of the shield. So I leave the background in sable, or black, because I think it suits the Count more than argent. You can see it here.

Now I'd like to explain the meaning of the blazon above.

Or, gules, and azure means gold, red, and blue (but you know that already). The term “posant” literally means sit. It is usually used with animals, but in this case, it just means the mount is put on the sea. The term “chief” means the upper one third part of the shield. So the red cross is to be placed up there.

So in plain terms, the blazon of the arms of Monte Cristo literally means,

“a golden mount on blue sea with a red cross on the upper part of the shield”

That's all for now. Any question, critics, or advice is readily welcome. For more information please visit


  1. Your site is a fine resource to come for important information! Do you mind if I reblog some of your blog posts on my own domain?

  2. There is a version of coat of arms at