Could somebody please help me identity the symbols on the relief below? relief showing a man with a rod, hand resting on a shield

This is a memorial plaque in Vienna. It shows a former city judge and mayor of the town “Gross-Jedlersdorf” (today the 21st district of Vienna called “Floridsdorf”) called “Ignaz Bernreiter”.

Here is the text underneath the relief:

Bürgermeister, Ortsrichter [translation: mayor, city judge]
Ignaz Bernreiter
1848–1864  1867–1869

In his right hand he holds a staff. Given his duty I would define this as a judges staff. His left hand is rested on something I can’t define. It seems to be a shield with an emblem (escutcheon?), maybe showing an acorn, which I guess is a symbol for steadfastness. He also wears a prominent hat and a collar, but I don’t know if they have a meaning or are just decorative elements. The collar could represent his wealth.

As you see, there are a lot of maybes in my definition, as I am just not familiar with this topic. Maybe someone could clarify this for me. Thank you!

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure that we're using the term heraldic device in a compatible manner. I use the term only to refer to images associated with a coat of arms; in this sense only the images on the shield are properly heraldic devices. I believe those are the two sacks of wheat on the arms of Wien-Grosjedlersdorf.
Coat of Arms showing two sacks of wheat crossed.

I believe that the chain around the figure's neck is a symbol of his office as mayor. I'm not an expert of Austrian history, and the source I've cited is IK, but that type of collar frequently indicates civil office. @LangLangC provides the reference to Amtkette, which is more accurate.

I defer to the far more knowledgeable @LangLangC who clarifies (credit where it is due - citing here merely to avoid ephemeral comments)

Coat of arms is really just two sacks of 'stuff' produce; the robe & hat are a judge's hat and a judge's robe, (livery collar is Amtskette for his mayor office)


Austrian judge hat is called 'beret'.

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    Coat of arms is really just two sacks of 'stuff' (produce) de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gro%C3%9Fjedlersdorf , the robe & hat are a judge's hat and a judge's robe, (livery collar is Amtskette for his mayor office) Apr 6, 2020 at 9:42
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    @langlangc - thank you for the assist; I will delete this if you provide an answer so you get the credit. Please feel free to edit if I've incorporated your contributions incorrectly.
    – MCW
    Apr 6, 2020 at 9:55
  • Na, don't delete. You're welcome. And faster ;) Tbf: the staff is most likely also for mayor's office, but I lack the proper vocab to find convincing proof for that near Vienna ('Bürgermeisterstab', 'Amtsstab' ?) One example would perhaps be here? Apr 6, 2020 at 10:12
  • Was wrong, probably. Like mace in parliament or a scepter that related staff could (in general) be a symbol for both: judge and mayor ('Gerichtsstab' & 'Bürgermeisterstab') or in other words: 'merely' a symbol of some power… Seems to be fallen out of favour for the largest parts during early modern period? Apr 6, 2020 at 10:31

Here is a link to the coat of arms of the modern 21st district of Vienna, which includes a quarter for the former village of Grossjedlersdorf:


And here is a link to the coat of arms of Grossjedlersdorf:


And as others have said, probably with more expertise than I, the robe, hat, collar, and staff should be emblems of the various offices held by Mr. Bernreiter. And it is possible that he never actually wore or held them and even that they didn't actually exist in that era but were carved into the memorial plaque to symbolize his positions.

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