A Good Home

A Mystery – Maybe You Can Help

Blog Photo - Stained Glass

This stained-glass picture has been in our family for decades. When the light shines on the glass, the colours are more gorgeous than seen here. But it’s a bit of a mystery.

We are Canadian, so we recognize the iconic moose and maple leaf images. Canada is also a monarchy and Queen Elizabeth is our head of state, so the crown may represent that. But we’re not sure.

The neck and bodice look like a noble-woman’s from earlier centuries. The wings? And the other images?

Have you any ideas?  Do share! Or guess. It’s bound to be better than anything I’ve come up with.

32 thoughts on “A Mystery – Maybe You Can Help”

  1. Hi Cynthia,
    Isn’t it gorgeous. It has all the hallmarks of a heraldic coat of arms – the central crown below which is a knights visor and breastplate. The Prince of Wales ‘Plume of Feathers’ decorating the top of the crown and cascading down the sides. The shield would normally have a family motto … Fascinating.

    1. Thanks, Clive. I appreciate your reply and the clues! Every so often, when the sun shines on it, we stare and wonder: Who made it? Who was it intended for? And what the heck do the symbols mean? So now, we are getting a little bit closer to knowing…. Thanks again.

      1. A bit of a long shot this Cynthia, but I wonder if it’s an apprentice piece – these would have been made as practice pieces by the atelier’s apprentices and possibly subsequently sold.

        ‘Tother side of Canada to you I know but in Vancouver there is a fantastic stained glass studio run by John and Laura Gilroy. They moved there from my home town of Bristol some 14 years ago but they may be able to shed some light on it

        Here is a link to their studio:


  2. It is a beautiful coat of arms, Cynthia. I always loved stained glass, and I bet it does make a very striking image in the sun. Best of luck finding its history in the various links people have sent you.

  3. I love a good mystery 🙂 You’ve got the links that will lead you on, eventually you might fall down the rabbit hole of genealogical research though ….. I look forward to finding out what you discover, either about your family or someone else’s or just about the different symbols put together in this way.

  4. Oh boy. You’ve got me thinking. Regardless of the original meaning, I think you should give each thing a phenomenal meaning for your family now–could be so inspiring!

  5. I love stained glass – this one is lovely! I would not be of any help but I read the replies hoping for an answer to your mystery. Perhaps the story lies in how your family came to have this gem as there has to be a story there! Cheers!

  6. I haven’t a clue, but what a lovely piece f stained glass! I just love stained glass, and when I was little, used to love sitting in a pew where the sun was shining through the colors all around me. Magical.

    1. I’m glad you loved my description though I’m afraid it wasn’t very accurate in heraldic terms – there is the central steel helmet of a knight topped with a gold coronet adorned with two pairs of birds wings in opposing colours, and not a plume of feathers as I first thought. There is quite elaborate floral like mantling, surrounding the main body and shield, which I believe is meant to represent the flowing mantle or coat of a knight. These end at the base with small opposing crescents – I’m not sure of their meaning. The central shield seems incomplete somehow as there is no family motto or other motif. The Moose and Maple leaf are recognised Canadian symbols I believe though I’m not sure if they have any other significance. Altogether puzzling! Nonetheless beautiful.

  7. The stain glass is lovely and it has been so interesting reading all the ideas and links that you have received. I hope they lead you to an answer.

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