Drawing challenge: Coat, the von Alemann coat

April 24, 2015

I was so happy when Patrice called this week’s drawing challenge: coat, and, for me, this started with a book.

014 copy copy

Not just any book, THE BOOK. One of the most precious books I have, the book of my family, the von Alemann family.

The book used to belong to my grandfather, and has study notes written in his handwriting. There are also study notes in the handwriting of others.

The book is written in high German, and begins in 1281. Somehow, over the years, there grew a small collection of odd things in the book, like a pressed edelweiss and beech leaf between the halves of a Czech receipt for bread, along with the usually kept death and birth certificates.

018 copy copy

There are property documents, and locks of hair, and names. Loads and loads of names; centuries of names.

019 copy copy022 copy copy

A few names keep repeating. Here, the death certificate for my grandfather’s father Lord Emilian Karl von Alemann; before him his father, Lord Wilhelm Johan Karl, and after him my grandfather Lord Karl Emilian Maria, and my son is also named in a fashion after this tradition of repeating names: Jonathan Karl (he has the full right to use the Lord title).

017 copy copy

It’s funny how it goes. So comfortable for me, like a warm coat. My coat of arms. The image passed down thru centuries. The family which started the entire Alemannic world. My world.

I started this DC on a sheet of music with the title Prelude. It felt like homage to all those who came before me.

IMG_4363 copy copy

I drew my Germanic von Alemann family crest, I drew the Czech lion, the lion of my childhood.


I gilded the Czech lion with copper leaf; that warm golden pink light of Prague.

IMG_4372 copy copy

And there we are. I think this little piece of art might end up collected in the book for future generations to puzzle out.

009 copy copy

Later, Chloe and I put on our family crest rings. We looked thru the book for a while longer, and then I closed the book and put it back in the safe.

IMG_4433 copy copy

Thank you for a lovely and touching DC theme dearest. x

But the fun is only starting. Pop over to Patrice’s for links to everyone who is clever enough to slip their coats on in this weather. đŸ˜€

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Patricia A. McGoldrick April 24, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    How precious!

  • Reply debrashewhoseeks April 24, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    How fascinating and indescribably wonderful that you have such genealogical documents! My maternal forebears were German-speaking Swiss and I see from your Wikipedia link that would make them part of the Alemannic world.

  • Reply Renee Dowling April 24, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    What an amazing piece of history you have in your hands! Hours of joy, memories, and traditions!

    Adding your coat of arms to the book is a marvelous way of connecting your present to the past!

    How special!

  • Reply daryledelstein April 25, 2015 at 3:02 am

    so wonderful to have all that family history at hand … with all the last generation of my family (on both sides) gone its often both frustrating and heartbreaking not to have someone to ask about the past .. i am so happy for you all

  • Reply Patrice A. April 25, 2015 at 3:54 am

    oh, dearest veronica
    what a precious treasure this book is!
    i come from a decluter family
    so little has been preserved….
    i LOVE the book, the story, your drawing
    and the sentence: ‘like a warm coat, my coat of arms’
    the BEST coat there is, i think

    thanXX for joining!

  • Reply Leena April 25, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful, exciting history! I love the little items in the book and specially those you made: absolutely fantastic idea to draw them on the note sheet, xo Leena

  • Reply Tammie April 25, 2015 at 9:05 am

    this theme took you and then us on a family adventure
    how wonderful to consider
    love your musical crest piece

  • Reply Gill April 25, 2015 at 9:32 am

    love your family history and your take on the word “coat.”

  • Reply renilde April 25, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    dear Veronica, you, adding something on your turn to your precious book is a touching and romantic act, a way of saying i belong to you, your warm coat of arms painted in warm, vivid colors contrasting to the yellowing papers…history goes on.
    an unexpected coat, xx

  • Reply eric April 26, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Wonderful how you’ve worked out the theme. Where would we be without our personal history..

  • Reply Lucia April 26, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Being a Historican I love everything I see here. Thank you for this Inspiration.

  • Reply Carole April 26, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Family history, your story unfolding up to you! A long and interesting story.
    I have a very sad story about a family keepsake that was erroneously tossed to the garbage bin, forever lost to our family. Unless of course someone found it and picked up the old Hodder Family Bible. One can only hope!

  • Reply tinyWOOLF April 26, 2015 at 8:52 am

    how delightful, your step-by-step guide into your past, present and future… you are a great conservationist! your images drawn and illustrated, this will be fun to hand down…! n?

  • Reply Melodye Shore April 26, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Wow. I’d be so very thrilled to find your beautiful Coat of Arms, were I one of your kindred, not yet born. I love that you treasure the artifacts of your ancestor, and that you found a way to honor them (again) here.

  • Reply Catherine Llewellyn April 27, 2015 at 2:19 am

    the lion on the family crest and the czech lion both appear to be dancing and saying ‘I am here!” X

  • Reply annton April 27, 2015 at 3:15 am

    so precious and yes, it must feel like a warm coat to even say some of your family’s names out loud. your roots, all those stories, even the future, it is all coming from this. it is part of your identity and you’re part of it. wonderful!

  • Reply barbara bee April 27, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Dear Lady Veronica, this is so damn cool! Not only that I can read those german papers… but all about it. So you have famous german ancestors and I googled it and found a lot of stuff of your family and also nice pics of your family crest from your knight family here in germany. Doesn’t it itch you to go to Magdeburg and find out all of your ancestors? Cool drawing/artwork and very nice rings – LOVE this post.
    Dear Mylady

  • Reply roberto April 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    VerĂ³nica!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just can say WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a treasure!!!

  • Reply Julie@frogpondfarm April 28, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Oh Veronica … how wonderful. That book is so very precious. As for your drawing.. how lovely to be able to slip that between the pages and be part of so much.

  • Leave a Reply