Anonymous, Heraldic deeds of Astorgio I Manfredi

Anonymous,
Heraldic deeds of Astorgio I Manfredi

Anonimo Sec. XIV, Impresa araldica di Astorgio I Manfredi
XIV century, limestone, 109×68 cm, Inv. n. 200

The plaque comes from the demolished Castle of Ceparano in Faenza, constructed by order of Astorgio I Manfredi as the inscription commemorates.

Actually made in two parts, the upper part is the sculpture of Manfredi’s so-called “caprone sarcinato” (laden billy goat), with the motto in a Saxon language reading “WAN ICH MACH” (“if only I could”), standing witness to the Germanic origins of the feudal medieval. Below is the writing that recalls the construction of the castle with the date 1378.

The half-length portrait of the “caprone sarcinato”, who is burdened with a full sack, can be identified in a dromedary with its head hidden under a helmet with a crest in the form of a unicorn’s head. Later versions of this heraldic coat-of-arms were used, for example, by the bishop Federico Manfredi with the entire body of the animal crouched and holding the quartering of the Manfredi coat-of-arms in between his front legs. Another demonstration of the use of this coat-of-arms is in the majolica tondi, produced in the workshop of Andrea della Robbia, found in the Cathedral of Faenza and created around 1475.

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