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1.3 Heraldry becomes pure symbolism


With the end of the era of the knights in the 16th century, heraldry changed from a practical need to pure symbolism.

Freed from the actual shield, heraldic artists introduced new shapes.

Supporters originated from the engravers' desire to fill the space between the shield and the edge of round objects like seals or coins.

The manteau, a draped cloak on which the shield is displayed, is a symbol of high status and is often topped by a royal crown.

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