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Georg von Frundsberg (24 September 1473 – 20 August 1528) and all his successors had a dual coat of arms - one part with a black mountain, the other with a white or silver ostrich.

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Some heraldry books show it as two different coats of arms for the same family (lower half of the page).

However, Georg's Father, Ulrich von Frundsberg, and all his predecessors had a single coat of arms with the black mountain only. Where did the ostrich come from?

Maybe a hint: on the Frundsberg family altar all sons of Ulrich von Frundsberg have dual coats of arms, where the second half comes from their wives (including Georg - the youngest brother, first from the left, with the black goat of his wife Katarina von Schrofenstein on his shield). However, his elder brother Adam, who never married, has the shield with the ostrich. I know, that Georg inherited the title of the lord of Mindelheim from his brother Adam. But this is not the coat of arms of Mindelheim. Perhaps, some other property he inherited the same way?

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    Isn't that a yellow/golden bird, & ostrich or swan? Feb 5, 2022 at 19:01
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    It is an ostrich, because it has a horseshoe in its beak. That's the heraldic attribute of an ostrich.
    – Yann_Ba
    Feb 5, 2022 at 20:20
  • Apparently the horseshoe attribute goes back to the medieval belief that the ostrich eats and digests iron: "Gart der gesuntheit Zu latein Hortus Sanitatis", Straßburg: Matthias Apiarius 1536. Buch 2, Von den Vögeln. "Das .CIX. Capit. Struthio strauss. [...] Er isst eisen und dawet das / dan er ist heisser natur / und von natur hasset er die pferd / und verfolget sy wüderlich [...]"
    – njuffa
    Feb 6, 2022 at 4:53
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    This suggests that the ostrich may have been a swan originally: "Auf der Seite der Ehefrau jedoch haben wir das Wappen der von Frundsberg (Freundsberg, Fronsberg, Frunsperg). Das Stammwappen zeigt nach dem Siebmacher in Schwarz einen goldenen Schwan, später zuweilen einen goldenen Strauß mit silbernem Hufeisen mit Schnabel."
    – njuffa
    Feb 6, 2022 at 5:07
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    I know this version, and I am sure it's a later confusion caused by the fact, that the original Frundsberg coat of arms has the swan in the helmet. As you may see on the second link in the post, there were two different coats of arms - one with the mountain in the shield and the swan in the helmet, the other - with the ostrich in the shield and horns with leaves on the helmet. When these two coasts of arms merged, the confusion began - as you may see in the first picture, the swan in the helmet was replaced with some mixture of a swan (raised wings) and an ostrich (horseshoe).
    – Yann_Ba
    Feb 6, 2022 at 10:55

1 Answer 1

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The arrangement of separate coats of arms on a single shield or other field is called marshalling in English heraldry.

It is common to display the coats of arms of a married couple by dividing the shield vertically down the middle, with the husband's coat of arms on the right side of the shield, which is on the viewe'rs left, and the wife's coat of arms on the other side.

In Germanic countries, it is common to show the coats of arms of a married couple side by side, and with their tops tilted toward each other.

When a shield is divided into four parts, showing 2 coats of arms, each repeated twice, it is called quartering.

The quarter in the upper left as the view sees it, which is the upper right of the shield itself, is call the 1st quarter, the other quarter above is the 2nd quarter, the quarter on the bottom in the viewer's left (the right side of the shield) is the 3rd quarter, and the other quarter on the botton, diagonally opposite to the 1st quarter, is the 4th quarter.

And in a quartered coat of arms that has 2 coats of arms, one will be in the 1st and 4th quarters, and the other will be in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

It is common to put the paternal coat of arms in the 1st and 4th quarters. And the coat of arms in the 2nd and 3rd quarters is usally one which has been inherited though the person's mother, or other female ancestor.

A quarted coat of arms can also display 3 or 4 separate coats of arms. If a shield has 5 or more parts the parts are still called quarters. Some persons have the right to hundreds of coats of arms, and sometimes display shields with hundreds of quarters, though they usually use much simpler displays, since they are not required to allways display all their shields.

So if Georg von Frundsberg displayed a quartered coat of arms with an ostrich on a black field in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, his mother, or the wife of an earlier ancestor in the paternal line, was probably the heraldic heiress of the ostrich coat of arms, which would give the descendants of her husband to right to quarter her arms with her husband's arms.

So you should check the names and coats of arms of Georg von Frundsberg's mother, and his paternal grandmother, and his paternal great grandmother, etc. for a family with a cot of arms of an ostrich on a black field.

You might want to ask in this website:

https://www.reddit.com/r/heraldry/

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    Thank you for the elaborate answer! I have thought of Georg's mother first, but this is not her coat of arms, as you may see on the family altar (third link in the post). It's also notable, that all Ulrich's sons have their shield quartered with the coat of arms of their wives, and so does Georg (he doesn't have the ostrich there). The one with the ostrich is his elder brother Adam, whos wife is unknown. However, I will check Georg's grandmother's coats of arms, thank you for the hint! I have made a similar post in reddit/heraldry, too.
    – Yann_Ba
    Feb 5, 2022 at 18:48

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