Ortenburg Armorial


This armorial was probably written and illuminated by different hands in Bavaria between 1466 and 1473. It contains heraldic devices of the Quaternions (Groups of Four, each representing different social groups of the Holy Roman Empire). It also illustrates the crests of (mostly) Bavarian princes, noblemen, territories, bishoprics, and prince-bishops. Despite its somewhat crude execution, it is a valuable resource for the heraldry of Southern Germany towards the end of the 15th century. By 1534 the manuscript had come into the possession of the counts of Ortenburg, near Passau; there, heraldic devices of the Ortenburg family and their ancestors were added. It remained with the family until 1953, when it was sold to the Bavarian State Library, where it is preserved.

Last updated: January 28, 2015